CCTV footage shows a man exiting the Saudi consulate wearing murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s clothes, shortly after Khashoggi disappeared.
What happened to Jamal Khashoggi?
Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate on Oct. 2 in Istanbul, to finalize his divorce so he could marry his fiancée. He was never seen again. As a columnist for the Washington Post, Khashoggi had frequently criticized the Saudi government and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
What do we know about the body double?
Turkish officials gave CCTV footage to CNN that showed a man wearing Khashoggi’s clothes exiting the Saudi consulate on Oct. 2.
A Turkish official who spoke to CNN said that this man was Mustafa al-Madani. Al-Madani had reportedly been a member of the 15-person team sent from Saudi Arabia to intercept Khashoggi.
The CCTV footage shows al-Madani entering the Saudi consulate in different clothes two hours before Khashoggi entered the building. Shortly after Khashoggi entered the building, al-Madani exited through the rear of the consulate wearing Khashoggi’s clothes and a fake beard. He then walked to a popular mosque, accompanied by another man from the Saudi consulate who was carrying a trash bag. He would enter a bathroom with this man, and then leave without the fake beard, wearing the same clothes that he had worn when he entered the consulate several hours before. The men would later ditch the trash bag, which presumably contained Khashoggi’s clothing.
Even though the Saudi government initially claimed that Khashoggi had left the Saudi consulate alive, the government never released footage of the body double. Turkish officials told CNN that Saudi officials may have scrapped that plan after the Turkish government claimed to have proof that Khashoggi had been killed inside the embassy.
The Saudi government has changed its story several times in the weeks since Khashoggi disappeared inside its consulate. Initially, it claimed that Khashoggi had left the consulate alive, and expressed concern regarding what had happened to him after that. Then it suggested that the murder may have been carried out by “rogue killers,” a theory repeated by President Donald Trump.
Now, the Saudi government is claiming that Khashoggi had been accidentally killed after a fight broke out in the consulate. The presence of a body double would seem to contradict this version of events.