Dramatic scramble by agents to stop Khashoggi 'kill team' escaping Turkey revealed

Police and intelligence services tried set up roadblocks and stop the alleged "kill team" at passport control, Sky News learns.

Sky News has learned Turkish intelligence agents launched a dramatic
operation to prevent the escape of the team they claim killed and
dismembered a Saudi journalist in Istanbul.

A source close to the investigation told Sky News the police and intelligence services:

:: Tried to set up roadblocks

:: Put out a call to the airport to stop them at passport control

:: Searched one of the jets taking the team back to Saudi Arabia

As a picture emerged of a dramatic scramble to try to stop the men
believed to be responsible for the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi,
Saudi Arabia confirmed the journalist died in the Saudi consulate in
Istanbul after a fight with people he met there.

Mr Khashoggi disappeared after a visit to the consulate on 2 October to get marriage papers.

But even though the alarm was raised within hours by the journalist's
fiancee who was waiting outside the consulate, it proved too late.

The journalist's fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, rang one of the president's advisers as well as a close journalist friend.

Politicians at the head of the Turkish government were alerted, as well
as police and intelligence services - and as many of them had diplomatic
status, it is thought they went through a VIP section of the airport
and managed to slip away.

Two private jets were used to ferry the team back to Saudi Arabia.

Police managed to board at least one of the jets posing as cleaners but found nothing.

Investigators speaking anonymously through a number of different media
channels including Sky News are insistent they have an audio recording
documenting the journalist's beating and death shortly after he turned
up at the Saudi consulate.

They also insist they have not shared it with anyone outside Turkish intelligence.

Reports through US media that the recording was played to US secretary of state Mike Pompeo have been denied by the man himself.

If the recording is as strong as the Turks say it is, it would be
difficult for Mr Pompeo to admit hearing it and still maintain any sort
of diplomatic position with Saudi Arabia.

One of Mr Khashoggi's closest friends and the same man his fiancee rang
for help when the journalist did not emerge from the consulate spoke to
Sky News about his disgust at the idea of any cover-up.

"If nothing is done, then everyone in the world will know, no one is
safe, even if you go into a consulate," Turan Kislakci said from his
office in Istanbul.

Istanbul's chief prosecutor has subpoenaed all the Turkish staff working
at the consulate including cleaners, maintenance workers, the consul
general's driver and the telephone operator

The investigators have also searched Belgrade Forest in Istanbul after
tracking two vehicles they believe were used in the attempt to cover up
the journalist's killing.

They have also collected samples from both the consulate and the nearby
consul general's home to try to match with Mr Khashoggi's DNA.

One former ambassador and an expert on US-Turkish relations told us it
was inconceivable that the Saudi royal circle did not know about the

Matthew Bryza, the former US ambassador to Azerbaijan, told Sky News
there was no way a 15-person team could enter a consulate and beat and
kill a man without clearance from seniors.

Intelligence sources have told Sky News they believe there was an
attempt to destroy evidence and either deliberately or while shifting
the remains, the journalist's remains have been spread in several
different places.

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