Ankara: A suspect in the missing Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi case was allegedly killed in a “suspicious car accident” in Riyadh, reported a Turkish daily on Thursday. Mashal Saad al-Bostani, 31, a lieutenant of the Saudi Royal Air Force, was among the 15 suspects who went to the Saudi consulate and left Turkey on October 2, the day when Khashoggi was last seen, stated a report by Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak. Also Read - UN expert: Saudi Arabia undermined Khashoggi probe
The role of the suspect in the murder case is not clear because the details of the traffic accident in Riyadh have not been released yet. According to Hurriyet Daily News, Istanbul consul Mohammad al-Otaibi’s might be “the next execution” as Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman “would do anything to get rid of the evidence”. Also Read - Yemen, Iran, Khashoggi murder top Pompeo's talks in Saudi Yemen,
Pro-government Turkish daily Yeni Safak reported on Wednesday that Al-Otaibi’s voice could be heard in a tape recording, which Turkish authorities believe to be that of Khashoggi’s “interrogation” at the consulate. The torture inflicted upon Khashoggi can be heard in the audio recording of his interrogation, with his fingers being cut off. Also Read - CCTV footage shows men transporting 'Khashoggi body parts'
According to a tape released by the daily, an anonymous person can be heard telling Al-Otaibi, “If you want to live when you return to Saudi Arabia, be quiet!”Al-Otaibi came back to Saudi Arabia aboard a private jet on Tuesday before police raided his house in Istanbul on Wednesday and Thursday.
Meanwhile, Turkish daily Sabah on Thursday released stills from security camera footage of another suspect in the missing journalist case.
A report by Sabah stated that the suspect, Maher Abdulaziz M. Mutreb, 47, an intelligence officer, had previously served in Saudi Arabia’s London embassy. Mutreb had extensively travelled with the Crown Prince and was once a diplomat to the Saudi Embassy in London in 2007, according to a British diplomatic roster. The suspect had left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and visited the Saudi consul’s residence in the evening of the same day.
Three other suspects, namely Abdulaziz Mohammed al-Hawsawi, Thaar Ghaleb al-Harbi, and Muhammed Saad Alzahrani were identified as the Saudi King’s security team. Moreover, a fifth suspect in the case, Salah al-Tubaig identifies himself as the head of the Saudi Scientific Council of Forensics in his twitter handle, according to a report by The New York Times dated October 16.
Journalist and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi had disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. He had gone to the diplomatic building to obtain documents for his upcoming wedding. While the Turkish officials claim that the journalist was killed by a special team of 15 Saudi officials, the Saudi authorities maintain that Khashoggi left the consulate the same afternoon.
(With Agency inputs)