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CIA chief ‘seen all proof’ related to Khashoggi murder

CIA
CIA Director Gina Haspel

Saudi Arabia has admitted Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

A Turkish security source has told Al Jazeera CIA Director Gina Haspel has seen all the evidence related to Khashoggi’s killing.

The evidence proves the operation was carried out on orders from the highest level of leadership in Saudi Arabia, the source added.

Haspel was in Turkey last week to review evidence, before briefing US President Donald Trump in Washington, DC.

Turkish sources also said that Saudi Arabia would pay “blood money” or compensation to Khashoggi’s family and his fiancee.

Turkish media have reported that staff at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul tried to dismantle security cameras to help cover up the murder of Khashoggi.

The pro-government Sabah newspaper reported that the Saudis tried to rip out the camera inside the consulate on October 2, the day Khashoggi was murdered.

They also tried to tamper with cameras at the police security booth outside the building.

According to the report, at 1 am on October 6, a consulate member staff went into the police security post outside the Saudi consulate to access the video system.

Sabah reported that the staff member put a digital lock code into the system, which did not dismantle any cameras but rather was intended to prevent access to any videos showing movement at the entrance, including Khashoggi’s arrival at the consulate.

ALSO READ: Khashoggi case: Riyadh must punish all Khashoggi’s ‘savage’ killers

Al Jazeera’s Andrew Simmons reporting from Istanbul said that their attempt was, in any case, irrelevant because the police had already deciphered the coding and accessed the system, retrieving a copy of the video well ahead of the attempt of tampering.

Saudi Arabia’s king has begun a domestic tour with a first stop in the conservative heartland of Qassim province, where he pardoned prisoners serving time on financial charges and announced 16bn riyals about $4.27bn in new projects.

This is King Salman’s first such tour since he ascended to the throne in 2015 and comes as the kingdom faces international pressure following the killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last month.

The state-run news agency reported on Wednesday that the government would pay debts of up to 1m riyals, or $267,000, on behalf of each of the pardoned prisoners.

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