Turkish authorities say they have explicit audio recordings as well as video footage showing that Saudi agents killed the dissident Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, according to two people the Turks have briefed on their findings.
Such material, if made public, could transform the unfolding standoff between Turkey and Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi, a legal resident of the United States and a Washington Post columnist well known among Western journalists and diplomats.
Sir Richard Branson has halted discussions with Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund about a planned $1bn investment in Virgin’s space companies and suspended his participation in two advisory boards after the disappearance of a Saudi journalist. Other international executives and financiers have also started to review their commitments in Saudi Arabia on Thursday as foreign governments stepped up their demands for answers about Jamal Khashoggi.
Sir Richard is now among several prominent business leaders to pull back from involvement with the Gulf kingdom’s projects pending more information about the Khashoggi case. His move was followed by news that Dara Khosrowshahi, Uber’s chief executive, Viacom’s Robert Bakish and Steve Case, the former head of AOL, had all reconsidered their attendance at a high-profile Saudi conference later this month. In a statement, Sir Richard told the Financial Times that he had been “delighted” to accept two directorships involving tourism projects around the Red Sea because of his “high hopes” for Saudi Arabia’s government under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
New York Times / Financial Times