Turkey will search Saudi consulate in Khashoggi investigation

Turkey will search Saudi consulate in Khashoggi investigation
Turkish officials said they would search the consular building where Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing last week.
2 min read
10 October, 2018
Saudi Arabia's consulate might be searched by Turkish officials [Anadolu]

Turkey said on Wednesday its officials will search the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing last week.

Turkey's foreign ministry spokesman Hami Akso said that the diplomatic compound would be investigated as part of an inquiry into the disappearance of the Saudi journalist.

"The consulate building will be searched in the framework of the investigation," he said in a statement, according to Reuters.

Saudi Arabia has said before it would allow Turkish officials to search the compound but they have not been allowed in enter yet. Diplomatic buildings can only be searched by host countries with permission of the mission chief.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Saudi Arabia must prove Riyadh's official narrative that Khashoggi left the consulate alive.

Turkish officials believe that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate with his body removed in diplomatic boxes.

Camera footage outside the consulate show Khashoggi but not leaving. Saudi Arabia claims the camera showing him exiting the building was not working at the time.

A report in the New York Times and Turkish media claims that a team of Saudi "agents" entered Turkey on the day Khashoggi went missing.

The individuals checked into two hotels close to the consulate.

Both planes later returned to Riyadh with one stopping in Dubai and the other in Egypt, Sabah reported.

The planes belonged to a company based in Saudi Arabia which has links to the state.

Istanbul police experts have been analysing vehicles which entered and left the consulate, some of which were then seen on camera last Tuesday at the consul-general's residence, 200 metres away.

The newspaper also said that Turkish employees at the residence were "hastily" told to take a holiday on the day Khashoggi went missing.

Media have reported that Saudi officials lay in wait for Khashoggi, who entered the consulate numerous times to handle paperwork regarding his proposed marriage to his Turkish fiancé.

Khashoggi fled Saudi Arabia for the US where he wrote articles critical of the stifling atmosphere in the kingdom following the ascension of Mohammed bin Salman to crown prince, who has launched a fierce campaign of suppression against perceived opponents.

Agencies contributed to this story.