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Jamal Khashoggi Latest- Body double created as cover up, Saudi official offer Turkey aid and end Qatar embargo

The team of Saudi agents that killed the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul brought a body double who resembled Mr. Khashoggi and wore his clothes as part of a cover-up, Turkish and Saudi officials said Monday.

Turkey leaked security camera video footage on Monday showing the look-alike strolling the streets of Istanbul shortly after Mr. Khashoggi had been killed inside the Saudi Consulate.

The impostor was easily recognizable in part because he wore different-colored shoes than Mr. Khashoggi was when he entered the consulate. A Saudi official as well as another Saudi briefed on the kingdom’s investigation into the killing confirmed the ruse.

The inclusion of a body double in the squad is the latest indication that the death of Mr. Khashoggi, a Virginia resident and Washington Post columnist last seen on Oct. 2, occurred during a premeditated plot by the Saudis to abduct or kill him and hide what they did.

The truth “in full nakedness

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey has promised that on Tuesday he will reveal for the first time the truth “in full nakedness,” in the face of what his aides have called a Saudi cover-up. Turkish officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, have said they have recordings and other evidence showing that Mr. Khashoggi was murdered and then dismembered on orders from the highest levels of the Saudi royal court.

On Saturday, Saudi Arabia’s rulers admitted for the first time that their agents had killed Mr. Khashoggi. In their new version of events, they said he was accidentally strangled during a brawl that broke out in the consulate as the Saudi agents tried to persuade him to return to the kingdom.

The Saudi officials have also said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the 33-year-old de facto ruler of the kingdom, had no knowledge of the mission and that he learned of the killing only two weeks later.

Asked why a team that had not intended to harm Mr. Khashoggi had employed a look-alike to try to fool security cameras, a Saudi official briefed on the matter said it had been a spur-of-the moment improvisation after the agents realized they had killed him.

“They panicked after he died, and in order to make it appear he left the consulate, they decided to impersonate him,” the official said, speaking on the condition of anonymity because the investigation is ongoing.

Turkish officials, however, noted that the look-alike’s background also raised questions about why he was sent to Istanbul in the first place.

Officials of the kingdom have acknowledged that a team of 15 Saudis flew into Istanbul on Oct. 2 for the Khashoggi mission, and Turkish officials have disclosed the names of 15 Saudis who were almost all young men with obvious ties to the security services.

But the look-alike seen on a video leaked to CNN, identified as Mustafa al-Madani, was a large, gray-haired middle-aged man whose Facebook profile described him as a Saudi engineer. Although some reports have suggested he was an intelligence agent, his main qualification appears to be that he resembled Mr. Khashoggi

Other details and disputes continued to emerge. Even as they acknowledge that Mr. Khashoggi was killed, Saudi officials have insisted that they have no information about the location of his remains. They have said the agents handed the remains to a local accomplice whose identity remains undisclosed.

On Monday, the official who discussed the body double added a new detail to the Saudi account of the body’s disposal: The agents, the official said, rolled Mr. Khashoggi’s body in a rug before handing it over.

Turkish officials have said that audio recordings and other evidence show that the team moved to kill and dismember Mr. Khashoggi almost immediately after he entered the consulate, during an appointment to pick up a document. The Saudi team included a doctor who was perhaps the foremost expert on autopsies in the kingdom, and, according to Turkish officials, he brought a bone saw for use in disposing of Mr. Khashoggi’s remains.

On Monday, a person close to Mr. Erdogan and briefed on the Turkish evidence added new specificity to the Turkish claims about the speed with which Mr. Khashoggi was killed, and said it also showed premeditation.

Mr. Khashoggi came under attack within two minutes of entering the consulate, this person said, was dead within seven minutes, and was dismembered within 22 minutes. Turkish officials briefed on the investigation have previously said that the team had finished its work and left the consulate within less than two hours.

Amid the escalating doubts about Saudi Arabia’s new explanation for Mr. Khashoggi’s death, a growing number of current and former Western government officials with extensive experience in Saudi Arabia have now said publicly that they believe Crown Prince Mohammed must have ordered the killing.

Turkey strategy

Mr. Erdogan has long publicly treated the crown prince as a respected ally to maintain good relations with Saudi Arabia, an important regional power. But it was an open secret that the two men were bitter rivals in a feud over Arab democracy and political Islam that has divided the region.

Evidently sensing Saudi weakness after the skeptical reception that greeted the latest claims from the kingdom, Mr. Erdogan over the last two days has gone on the attack.

Mr. Erdogan has promised to reveal a truth “in full nakedness” in a political speech on Tuesday. A political ally close to him said the Turkish president planned to ask pointed questions implicitly or indirectly blaming the royal court for the killing.

But the same ally tamped down expectations, saying Mr. Erdogan does not intend to disclose the specific evidence other officials have cited. Some of that evidence may have been obtained through audio surveillance of the consulate in violation of international agreements. Mr. Erdogan is instead expected to postpone further revelations pending a report on the case by a Turkish prosecutor.

But he remains determined to try to assign the blame for the killing to the upper reaches of the Saudi royal court, as close as possible to the crown prince, the ally said. Turkey also sees an added benefit to deferring full disclosure: It could prolong international attention to the mystery of Mr. Khashoggi’s fate, compounding the damage to the prince’s reputation.

Saudi offer to Turkey

Mr. Erdogan, the person close to him said, recounted that a Saudi envoy, Prince Khaled bin Faisal, had offered a package of inducements for Turkey to drop the case — including financial aid and investments to help Turkey’s struggling economy, and an end to a Saudi embargo on Qatar, a Turkish ally. Mr. Erdogan has told associates that he angrily rejected the offer as “a political bribe,” this person said.

In the meantime the international backlash against Saudi Arabia has widened.

Britain, France and Germany said in a joint statement on Sunday that they would ultimately make their judgments about what happened based on the “credibility of the further explanation we receive,” and made clear that they wanted assurances that such “a shameful event” would not happen again. Saudi Arabia needs to do more to determine the truth and hold those responsible accountable, the countries said.

Germany, although not a major source of Saudi arms, has suspended weapons sales to the kingdom. The United States and Britain rank first and second, with France a distant third, according to the Stockholm Institute on International Peace, which tracks arms sales.

Federica Mogherini, the European Union’s foreign policy chief, said the disclosures so far about Mr. Khashoggi’s death a “shocking violation” of international conventions and norms of consular behavior.

Martin Dempsey, a former chairman of the United States’ Joint Chiefs of Staff who has lived in Saudi Arabia, wrote  on Twitter on Monday that there was “absolutely no way that MBS was unaware of Khashoggi murder.”

Mr. Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, has been placed under police protection, a Turkish official said on Monday. The official said the measure had been taken not because of any specific threat, but because Ms. Cengiz, who was to marry Mr. Khashoggi the day after he went to the Saudi Consulate, had been the target of online abuse

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