The body of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was likely burned in a large oven at the Saudi consulate general’s residence in Istanbul, an investigation revealed.
New details of the writer’s murder by a Saudi assassination team were reported in a documentary that aired on Sunday.
Turkish authorities monitored the burning of the outdoor furnace from outside the premises as bags believed to be containing Khashoggi’s body parts were transferred to the Saudi consul’s home after he was killed inside the consulate a few hundred metres away.
Al Jazeera interviewed a worker who constructed the furnace who stated it was built according to specifications from the Saudi consul. It had to be deep and withstand temperatures above 1 000 degrees Celsius – hot enough to melt metal.
Large quantities of barbeque meat were girlled in the oven after the killing in order to cover up the cremation of the Saudi writer’s body, Turkish authorities reported.
The burning of Khashoggi’s body took place over a period of three days, Turkish officials said.
Turkish investigators also found traces of Khashoggi’s blood on the walls of the Saudi consul’s office after removing paint that the assassination team applied after killing the Washington Post columnist on October 2.
The documentary was based on interviews with security officials, politicians, and some of Khashoggi’s Turkish friends.
Turkish intelligence chief Hakan Fidan was the first official to contact the Saudis regarding the whereabouts of Khashoggi, according to the documentary.
In a call with the de facto Saudi leader, Fidan reportedly demanded that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (also known by his initials MBS) reveal what happened to the journalist.
The call was cut short though when MBS rejected the demand and ended the call over what MBS reportedly perceived as an “unacceptable threat”.
A critic of Saudi Arabia’s powerful Prince Mohammed, Khashoggi entered the consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork so he could marry his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside the building. – Al Jazeera