A man purportedly wearing Jamal Khashoggi's clothes was seen leaving the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul the day the Saudi journalist disappeared, according to CCTV footage obtained by CNN.
While the video's authenticity couldn't immediately be verified, the suspect, identified as Mustafa al-Madani, was filmed entering the consulate building in a plaid shirt and jeans at 11 a.m. on October 2, two hours before Khashoggi arrived to obtain his marriage papers.
CNN maintains, citing Turkish investigators, that al-Madani left the building through the back door together with an accomplice after the journalist's death. He appeared to be wearing Khashoggi's actual clothes, glasses and a fake beard, while also carrying a plastic bag, presumably with his own clothes. He then was seen at Blue Mosque, one of the city's most popular tourist attractions. Al-Madani reportedly changed into his clothes again in a bathroom and later disposed of Khashoggi's belongings and the fake beard.
BREAKING: New video shows a 'body double' wearing Jamal Khashoggi's clothes while leaving the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, in what was allegedly a plot to make it appear Khashoggi had left alive pic.twitter.com/x46ZAvEGpf— BNO News (@BNONews) 22 октября 2018 г.
The American network claims that the man who dressed up as Khashoggi was a "body double" and a member of the alleged 15-man hit squad deployed to cover up the purported killing and trick everyone into thinking that the reporter left the consulate safe and sound.
Both Istanbul and Riyadh have yet to comment on the released footage.
CNN's account runs counter to the explanation of Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, who said on Sunday that Khashoggi's death was a "terrible mistake" that occurred during a "rogue operation." He stressed that those involved didn't have close ties to Crown Prince Salman, who was unaware of the incident.
Riyadh announced on Friday that the journalist had been killed in an altercation inside the embassy. Saudi authorities detained 18 individuals in connection with the case, and dismissed intelligence chief Ahmad Assiri and Saud al-Qahtani, a senior aid to the crown prince, over the incident.