Autopsy expert Salah al-Tubaigy is one of 15 individuals identified by Turkish media that could have played a part in the disappearance of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi according to a report in the New York Times.
The NY Times also names nine other high-ranking officials of Mohammed bin Salman’s security detail, with official Saudi sources strongly deny any involvement.
In a report from Middle East Eye, Dr Tubaigy is described as cutting up Mr Khashoggi while he was still alive.
The journalist, who worked as a columnist for The Post, had been very critical of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince and was last seen inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.
Mr Khashoggi went missing on October 2 while visiting the consulate in Istanbul to pick up paperwork he needed to get married.
In an account publsihed in the Yeni Safak newspaper, Saudi officials were alleged to have cut off Mr Khashoggi’s fingers and then decapitated him at the consulate as his fiancée waited outside.
Concerns are growing that he was murdered on orders of the Saudi regime with UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and his G7 counterparts stating that they “very troubled” by his disappearance.
In their report, the New York Times stated that royal guards and security delegates may not always report directly to their official superiors adding that Dr Tubaigy’s presence suggested “that killing might have been part of the original plan”.
Dr Tubaigy’s profile has been removed from government websites but it is understood he completed a master’s degree in forensic medicine at Glasgow University in 2004.
The university said it does not discuss its students or staff.
He holds senior positions in the Saudi Interior Ministry and medical establishment, a “figure of such stature that he could be directed only by a high-ranking Saudi authority”, The New York Times writes.
US President Donald Trump, whose administration is close the Saudis, criticised the allegations against Saudi Arabia and compared them to the accusations of sexual assault against Brett Kavanaugh during his Supreme Court confirmation hearing.
“Here we go again with you’re guilty until proven innocent,” Mr Trump said.