Saudi Arabia 'secretly' sells Istanbul consulate where Khashoggi was murdered

Saudi Arabia 'secretly' sells Istanbul consulate where Khashoggi was murdered
Saudi Arabia has not publicly commented on the reported sale of the consulate, which will see its consular staff depart the site of Jamal Khashoggi's murder.
2 min read
17 September, 2019
Khashoggi was killed almost one year ago [AFP]
Saudi Arabia is trying to quietly sell off its Istanbul consulate, Turkish media reported on Tuesday.

The revelation comes as the first anniversary of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate approaches.

The Saudi foreign ministry has "secretly and quickly" sold the consulate buildings in central Istanbul, HaberTurk reported.

The consulate's new owners have not been revealed, but the buildings were reportedly sold for around a third of their value.

The sale has also not been publicly confirmed by the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia will soon move its consulate to a new premesis in Istanbul's northern Sariyer district near the US Consulate.

According to Turkish legal experts, the sale of the embassy - still considered a crime scene by the Turkish authorities - will enable its most thorough investigation by officials yet.

The reported sale comes just two weeks ahead of the first anniversary of Khashoggi's killing, which is widely believed to have been ordered by Mohammad bin Salman, the Saudi crown prince and de-facto ruler.

A report by a UN expert released earlier this year placed the blame for the brutal murder squarely on Saudi Arabia, while new recordings released earlier this month by the Turkish press provided yet more evidence that top-level officials had plotted his vicious murder.

The transcript revealed for the first time Khashoggi's last words.

"I have asthma. Please, you'll strangle me", he said before he died.