By Asif Hussain
LONDON (AA) - New information has come to light after recordings of the brutal killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi were shared by the Turkish intelligence with two human rights lawyers.
Khashoggi was killed on Oct. 2, 2018, in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia initially denied any knowledge of his whereabouts after he went missing but later attempted to blame his death on a team of rogue operatives carrying out a botched rendition operation.
According to reports by the UN and other independent organizations, he was murdered and dismembered. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accepted responsibility for the killing of Khashoggi but denied ordering the murder.
The killing has sparked international outcry with the UN calling for an investigation into the role of bin Salman in carrying out the operation. Khashoggi's remains have not yet been found.
The recordings of the planning and execution of the killing were shared with Helena Kennedy QC, a British lawyer, and Agnes Callamard, the UN special rapporteur on extra-judicial killings.
Kennedy was quoted by BBC as telling its television program Panaroma, which is to be aired Monday night, the recordings made her “shiver”.
She said: "The horror of listening to somebody's voice, the fear in someone's voice, and that you're listening to something live. It makes a shiver go through your body.
"You can hear them laughing. It's a chilling business. They're waiting there knowing that this man is going to come in and he's going to be murdered and cut up."
Kennedy and Callamard are now looking to build a case around the assassination, with current evidence suggesting that the operation must have been state sanctioned.
The CIA, after being given access to the tapes earlier had come to the conclusion that there was a “medium to high chance” that the killing was state sponsored.
The recordings reveal the callous and brutal nature by which the special “hit squad” carried out the assignment of not only murdering, but also dismembering Khashoggi’s body.
The BBC investigative program Panorama will reveal further details tonight, of the content of the released tapes after in depth interviews with former Turkish intelligence officials and both Kennedy and Callamard, as well as Cengiz.