The Saudi hit squad that allegedly murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi smoked and drank alcohol on a “cheerful” ride back to the airport after the killing, their taxi driver has said.
The taxi driver claimed that one of his passengers picked from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was a senior intelligence officer close to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The driver said he drove some of the alleged assassins from Istanbul’s Ataturk airport to the Saudi consulate and back again after the killing, The Sunday Times reported.
He told Turkish media:
They were very cheerful. They smoked and drank alcohol in the car.
Turkey claims a 15-man security squad was sent to murder Khashoggi, while Riyadh denies the crown prince had any knowledge of the killing.
A friend of Khashoggi claimed the journalist was about to reveal that Saudi Arabia was using chemical weapons in its war with Yemen.
CCTV shows members of the suspected hit squad at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on October 2, the day Khashoggi went missing
The friend told the Sunday Express that Khashoggi had seemed “unhappy” and “worried” when they last met shortly before the journalist’s death.
The friend said:
[Khashoggi] told me he was getting proof that Saudi Arabia had used chemical weapons. He said he hoped he would be getting documentary evidence.
All I can tell you is that the next thing I heard, he was missing.