After a month, it seems we finally have a good picture of Jamal Khashoggi’s last moments. In early October, the Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and was immediately descended upon by members of the Saudi government hit squad sent to kill him. They strangled him to death, according to Istanbul’s chief prosecutor, Irfan Fidan. Within seven minutes of walking through the consulate’s front door, Khashoggi was dead. Apparently relying on music to soothe his conscience, the forensic scientist among the assassins then sawed up and possibly destroyed his body. Then they fled the country.
Yet for all the details that have emerged about Khashoggi’s murder, there are still crucial elements of the crime we don’t know—namely, where the body, or what was left of it, was disposed of, and whether Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in whose employ many of the assassins worked, ordered or condoned the killing. How can we find out?
Here’s how: Force the Saudi government to make available Mubarak Mohammed al-Otaibi, the consul-general, who was in his office at the time of the murder. Otaibi was present during Khashoggi’s murder but apparently did not take part. “Do this outside,’’ Otaibi complained to the killers, according to a Turkish official interviewed by the newspaper Yeni Safak. “You’re going to get me in trouble.”