ISTANBUL – Some members of the Saudi hit squad who killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul appeared “cheerful” and were drinking alcohol when they were on their way back home, the Turkish driver of the team’s leader said, as Ankara asked Riyadh to extradite the 18 suspects.
Speaking to private broadcaster A Haber on Oct. 26, the Turkish driver said that he was hired to transport members of the hit squad between Istanbul’s airport and their hotels on Oct. 2 hours before and after they killed Khashoggi.
“At 3.20 a.m., nine people landed [at Istanbul’s Atatürk Airport], hiring three of our cars. The three people in the car I drove included Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb. They wanted me to take them to their hotel and then be back there at 8.00 a.m. to bring them to the consulate,” the driver said.
The New York Times had reported on Oct. 16 that at least nine of 15 suspects identified by Turkish authorities worked for the Saudi security services, military or other government ministries.