Saudi consulate staff testify to Turkish prosecutor over Khashoggi disappearance

Saudi consulate staff testify to Turkish prosecutor over Khashoggi disappearance
Turkish state news has reported that staff members of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul have started giving testimonies to the city's chief prosecutor.
2 min read
19 October, 2018
Istanbul's chief prosecutor took statements from the 15 Turkish staff on Friday [AFP]
Staff members from Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul testified on Friday at the chief prosecutor's office as part of a probe into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Anadolu agency reported.

Fifteen staff, all Turkish nationals, were giving statements, according to NTV television. The development follows a thorough search of the consulate and the residence of the consul by Turkish authorities.

Turkish police are also searching the Belgrad Forest outside Istanbul for Khashoggi's body, with authorities now looking into the possibility that his remains could have been taken out of the Saudi consulate.

Washington Post columnist Khashoggi disappeared on 2 October when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to complete some routine paperwork. Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States after fearing for his own safety in Saudi Arabia.

Turkish intelligence have said they have audio and video recordings of Khashoggi's torture and brutal killing in the compound and are investigating a possible 15-man murder squad who are key suspects in the case.

Police have established that two vehicles belonging to the consulate left the building on the same day he went missing.

One went to the nearby Belgrad Forest and another to Yalova, a city that lies across the Sea of Marmara from Istanbul, AP reported.

On Friday, Turkish newspaper Sabah printed more images from surveillance cameras showing members of the same Saudi team.

Images have also been shared of a member of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's entourage entering the Turkish consulate the day Khashoggi went missing.

He has been identified by Turkish officials as Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, who joined Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on several trips abroad.