Dozens of people paid homage to murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi at a symbolic funeral in Istanbul Friday as Turkish media claimed Ankara has a second audio tape discrediting Saudi Arabia’s version of the killing.
In the absence of a body, the crowd gathered at Fatih mosque in front of an empty platform traditionally reserved for the coffin.
Supporters from the newly-formed Jamal Khashoggi Friends Association were among the mourners.
Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi leadership, was last seen entering the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2. Turkish officials say he was strangled and his body dismembered.
“We decided to hold the prayers as we are convinced that his body will never be found,” Fatih Oke, executive director of the Turkish-Arab Media Association (TAM) of which Khashoggi was a member, told AFP.
The ceremony which took place under rain, “is a message delivered to the world to say that the murder will not go unpunished and that justice will be served,” said Ibrahim Pekdemir, an Istanbul resident who attended.
Saudi prosecutors Thursday announced indictments against 11 people and said 21 individuals were in custody in connection with the killing.