New evidence suggests that the body of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was likely burned in a large outdoor tandoor pit - an outdoor barbeque pit - at the Saudi consul general's residence in Istanbul.
Khashoggi's allegedly dissected body was brought to the residence in bags from the Saudi Consulate building several hundred meters away, according to an Al-Jazeera documentary that aired Sunday. Turkish officials believe the burning of the body took place over a period of three days. The Saudi assassination squad later cooked bags of meat in the same tandoor oven to cover up the cremation, authorities claimed. In another chilling revelation, Istanbul police said in the 2018 annual report that the Saudi assassination squad had ordered 32 portions of raw meat from a well-known restaurant for the consulate after the murder, strengthening suspicions that they got rid of the journalist's body by burning it. The outdoor furnace in the Saudi consul's yard was built according to his specifications and can withstand temperatures hot enough to melt metal, a worker who constructed the oven told Al-Jazeera.
Traces of the journalist's blood were also found on the walls of the Saudi consul's office under a coat of paint applied after the murder.
According to the documentary, the head of the National Intelligence Organization (MİT), Hakan Fidan, was the first Turkish official to contact Saudis over the killing, inquiring into the whereabouts of Khashoggi. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who spoke to Fidan, swiftly ended the call over an "unacceptable threat." Al-Jazeera said its documentary was based on interviews with security officials, politicians and some of the slain journalist's Turkish friends.
Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives in the country's consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018. Initially denying and later downplaying the incident as an accidental killing in a fistfight, almost three weeks after the disappearance Riyadh finally admitted that Khashoggi was murdered in a premeditated action but denied any involvement of the royal family. Despite more than 150 days passing since Khashoggi's assassination, the whereabouts of his body remain unknown. Following a weeklong visit to Turkey, U.N. special rapporteur for extrajudicial summary or arbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, concluded that Saudi Arabia undermined Turkey's efforts to investigate the death of Khashoggi, which she described as a "brutal and premeditated killing" planned and carried out by Saudi officials.