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PHOTO: Saudi Body Double Dresses Up Like Jamal Khashoggi and Walks Out of the Saudi Consulate in Effort to Prove He Left the Consulate Alive

Really?
jamal khashoggi, mohammed bin salman, donald trump, khashoggi body-double

ISTANBUL, TURKEY - (ARCHIVE) : A file photo dated May 6, 2018 shows Prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Turkey. Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi died after a brawl inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Saudi Arabia announced Saturday. (Photo by Omar Shagaleh/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)

The mystery surrounding the disappearance and assassination of Jamal Khashoggi deepened on Monday after a Turkish official told CNN that one of the men involved with Khashoggi’s murder posed as a body-double after the journalist was killed.

Security camera footage obtained by CNN shows an individual wearing Khashoggi’s clothes, a fake beard, and glasses leaving the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul shortly after Khashoggi vanished inside on October 2.

The man dressed as Khashoggi, Mustafa al-Madani, is believed to have been part of the 15-man hit squad that carried out the torture and brutal killing of the Washington Post columnist.

“In the apparent cover-up that followed Khashoggi’s death,” CNN wrote on Monday, “Madani, 57, who is of similar height, age and build to Khashoggi, 59, was used as a decoy for the journalist, according to the Turkish official.”

“Madani, a decade older than the other members of the 15-man team, exited the consulate building by the back door along with an alleged accomplice,” CNN reported. “Madani was wearing what the video appears to show to be Khashoggi’s dark blazer, gray shirt opened at the collar and trousers.”

One Turkish official told CNN that al-Madani was specifically brought in to act as a body-double once Khashoggi was dead. He entered the Saudi Consulate around 11:00 A.M.

“You don’t need a body double for a rendition or an interrogation,” the official said. “Our assessment has not changed since October 6. This was a premeditated murder and the body was moved out of the consulate.”

“Khashoggi’s clothes were probably still warm when Madani put them on,” the official added.

Khashoggi arrived a couple hours later. Shaun King notes the difference in shoe size between Khashoggi and the man pretending to be him.

Here is al-Madani leaving the consulate dressed as Khashoggi, minus the shoes.

Below is al-Madani spotted leaving the Blue Mosque in his own clothes after he had prayed while impersonating Khashoggi.

Criticism of Saudi Arabia, Khashoggi’s native country believed to be responsible for Khashoggi’s death, is permeating social media.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has struggled to come up with a viable explanation for Khashoggi’s death other than a planned assassination.

First, the cause was a “fistfight” gone wrong. Then word spread that Khashoggi died in a chokehold.

“That is how he died,” one Saudi official said. “It didn’t last that long.” No reason why Khashoggi would start a fight with 15 Saudi guards was given.

It then took the Saudi government 18 days to acknowledge that Khashoggi was dead.

On Sunday, however, the kingdom’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Fox News that Khashoggi’s killing was “murder” and a “tremendous mistake,” but that  they “don’t know where the body is.”

“We are determined to uncover every stone,” al-Jubeir said. “We are determined to find out all the facts. And we are determined to punish those who are responsible for this murder.”

Turkish officials claim to have audio recordings of what really happened to Khashoggi, which reports say included an interrogation, torture, and dismemberment while the journalist was still alive.

The perpetrators, including an autopsy specialist named Dr. Salah al-Tubaigy, allegedly used a bone saw to cut Khashoggi’s body to pieces.

President Donald Trump has vowed “severe punishment” if the evidence shows the Saudi government was behind the assassination of Khashoggi. On Saturday, Trump told the Washington Post that “obviously there’s been deception, and there’s been lies” on the part of the Saudis.

Still, the president has emphasized the strategic importance of the U.S.-Saudi relationship, referring to the kingdom as an “incredible ally” and brushing off suspicions that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder of a journalist.

“Nobody has told me he’s responsible,” Trump told the Post. “Nobody has told me he’s not responsible. We haven’t reached that point . . . I would love if he wasn’t responsible.”

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    Brandon Gage

    Political Writer

    Brandon began his writing career in a hospital bed in July, 2017. His mission is to provide insight ... keep reading