- Meshal Saad al-Bostani, named by pro-government Turkish media as one of 15 men suspected of killing the Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi, died in a car accident in Riyadh, according to a report from a pro-government newspaper.
- The newspaper has had a lot of scoops from anonymous Turkish officials on the Khashoggi case.
- Turkish officials have leaked information to Turkish and US publications but do not appear to have provided key evidence to US intelligence services.
- Saudi Arabia has exceptionally high rates of car accidents and fatalities.
- Here’s everything we know about Khashoggi’s troubling disappearance.
Meshal Saad al-Bostani of the Saudi Royal Air Force, who was named by pro-government Turkish media as one of 15 men suspected of killing the Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi, reportedly died in a car accident in Riyadh.
An article titled “Riyadh Silenced Someone” from Yeni Safak, a Turkish newspaper that strongly supports Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, said the man died in a car crash, without giving a specific time or location.
Yeni Safak has been a major voice in coverage of Khashoggi’s disappearance, with daily scoops citing unnamed Turkish officials giving gory details about what they allege was a murder within the Saudi Consulate on October 2.
Saudi Arabia has denied any knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts or disappearance, but US intelligence officials have started to echo the view that the prominent Saudi critic, who recently took residence in the US, was killed.
In particular, Yeni Safak has said it heard an audio tape of Khashoggi’s killing, but Turkish intelligence does not appear to have turned over such a tape to the US. The US and Turkey are NATO allies with extensive intelligence-sharing agreements.
“We have asked for it, if it exists,” US President Donald Trump said of the tape on Wednesday. “I’m not sure yet that it exists. Probably does. Possibly does.”
The Committee to Protect Journalists said in a report last year that Turkey was the world’s biggest jailer of journalists, and there are few independent voices in its media scene.
“Let’s be honest,” Democrat Sen. Chris Murphy of Connecticut told Business Insider on Wednesday, “the Turks have leaked some pretty serious allegations through the press that they have not been willing to make public. There are not a lot of clean hands.
“We should acknowledge that most of what we know is through leaks from the Turkish government,” he continued. “At some point, the Turks have to give us exactly what they have instead of leaking all of this to the press.”
The Daily Beast on Tuesday cited “two sources familiar with the version of events circulating throughout diplomatic circles in Washington” as saying Saudi Arabia would try to pin Khashoggi’s killing on “a Saudi two-star general new to intelligence work.”
Meanwhile, Trump has suggested that “rogue killers,” not Saudi leadership, took out Khashoggi.
But no Saudi alibi has emerged. After a trip to Saudi Arabia this week, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the Saudis didn’t want to discuss the facts of the case but would investigate and hold any guilty parties accountable.
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