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Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi diplomat is called “pivotal” in apparent murder

The source said Mutreb was fully aware of the operation's plot. Mutreb, the first secretary of the Saudi embassy in…

The source said Mutreb was fully aware of the operation’s plot.

Mutreb, the first secretary of the Saudi embassy in London, has been described as a Colonel in Saudi intelligence, is closely linked to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. “He was posted to an elite guardian within the Royal Guard to act as the personal security force of [the crown prince]”, said a Saudi source to CNN.

Mutreb appeared on photographs next to bin Salman during the Crown Prince’s tour of the United Kingdom earlier this year.

Several US officials have told CNN that any operation involving members of the Crown Prince’s internal circle could not have happened without his direct knowledge.

Security camera images showing that Mutreb’s movements were one of 1

5 Saudi Arabian men of Turkish authorities to be linked to the disappearance and apparent death of Khashoggi, was published on Thursday by a Turkish newspaper.

Turkish investigators continue to look for clues to what happened to Jamal Khashoggi among growing signs that some of the men claim to be responsible for the journalist’s death are closely linked to the highest level of the Saudi government.

The four images, as the prostate paper Sabah said, received from Turkish security sources, shows Mutreb in Istanbul on October 2.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnists, visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to receive papers that would have allowed him to marry his Turkish fiancee. The initiated critics of the Saudi government have not been seen since.

The surveillance images apparently show:

  • Mutreb arrives at the Saudi consulate at 9:55, the day Khashoggi disappeared. He enters the consulate. Others in the Saudi group who arrived that day in Istanbul seem to be behind him.
  • Mutreb in front of the Consulate General’s residence at 4:53 pm that day.
  • Mutreb, at the Movenpick hotel near the consulate, apparently checks out. He was one of several saudis who have booked through October 5th but who checked out on October 2nd. There is no timestamp on the image. The suitcase next to him is circled but it is not known if it belonged to him or any other guest.
  • Mutreb arrives at Istanbul Airport at Ataturk Airport at 5:58, just before the departure of a private airplane that Turkish officials have previously said that he boarded. That plane returned to Riyadh via Cairo after about an hour on the ground in Istanbul.

The images and their stamps are consistent with what CNN reported earlier on Mutra’s movements on October 2, based on Turkish sources. The image of the person is very similar to that CNN has received from Mutreb.

 This picture shows that Mutreb checks a hotel near the consulate.


Turkish officials also gave CNN passport scanning of seven other men who suspect they were part of the 15-member-united team. Passages were taken on Khashoggi’s disappearance day.

One of the passages seems to belong to Salah Muhammad al-Tubaiqi (spelled Salah Mohammed A Tubaigy in the document), which is listed as Head of Forensic Medicine at the Saudi Interior Ministry.

In a 2014 interview with Asharq al-Awsat, a London-based Saudi newspaper, Tubaiqi promised a mobile clinic designed to perform autopsies in a record seven minutes as the first of its kind in the world. Tubaiqi, who worked as a forensic clinician and supervisor at the clinic at the time, told the newspaper that it was his idea to design the clinic to enable coroners to carry out forensic investigations and dissect bodies at crime and accident scenes.

 Turkish officials gave CNN this passport of Salah Muhammad al-Tubaiqi (spelled Salah Mohammed A Tubaigy in the document)

Tubaiqi spent three months studying at the Victorian Institute of Forensic Medicine (VIFM) in Australia from June 2015 , told a spokesman for the institute Deb Withers CNN on Thursday.

Tubaiqi was there as forensic pathologist and his study was paid by the government in Saudi Arabia, said Withers. He was head of Saudi Arabian Forensic Commission at the time of his visit to Australia. VIFM’s annual report from 2014-2015 notes.

Withers told CNN that Tubaiqi’s focus at the institution concerned mass-body identification methods, especially related to Hajj, according to his application for the location at VIFM.

Withers said Tubaiqi spent time looking at autopsies, observation procedures in the mortuary and learning from radiologists about CT scans. He was not allowed to perform autopsies or other procedures.

 Turkish officials gave CNN this passport of Muhammad Saad al-Zahrani. They used the spelling Mohammed Saad Alzahrani.

Another member of the group identified by Turkish official media and shown in the passages is Muhammad Saad al-Zahrani, who has appeared on Saudi television with bin Salman. His name is spelled Mohammed Saad Alzahrani in the scanned document.

Turkish investigators carrying dignitaries sought the residence of the Saudi consulate general in Istanbul on Wednesday, two days after the southern consulate in the city sought.

The search for housing, including dogs involved, entered early morning hours Thursday. There was no word on whether something was discovered.

Turkish officials have told CNN that Khashoggi’s body was split after being killed in the consulate. Riyadh has denied knowledge of his place of residence.

CNN’s Tim Lister reported from Ankara and Gul Tuysuz from Istanbul, while Laura Smith-Spark wrote from London. Spencer Feingold contributed to this report from Atlanta.

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