Turkish authorities say a missing Saudi journalist was murdered in a Saudi consulate in Turkey by a 15 member “team.”
Jamal Khashoggi, who was a contributor to The Washington Post’s Global Opinions section, reportedly went missing Tuesday after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to obtain papers declaring an official divorce from his ex-wife so he could marry his new fiancee, BBC News reported
Khashoggi’s fiance said she waited for 11 hours outside the consulate in Istanbul, but Khashoggi never came out.
Turkish authorities are now saying the team of 15 people “came from Saudi Arabia. It was a preplanned murder.”
Saudi Arabia has denied that Khashoggi was detained or held up in the consulate, and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after he arrived on Tuesday, according to The Washington Post.
“I would like to confirm that … Jamal is not at the consulate nor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the consulate and the embassy are working to search for him,” the consul-general, Mohammed al-Otaibi, told reporters Saturday.
A senior U.S. official said the U.S. is aware of The Post’s report, but cannot confirm it. They also said they have no additional information to add. (RELATED: Saudi Arabia Crucifies Murderer In Rare Punishment)
Despite Saudi Arabia’s denials, Turkish officials say Khashoggi was killed on the premises and then his body was removed after the 15-member team arrived from and returned to Riyadh the same day.
Head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association told The New York Times that Turkish officials watched security tapes and did not see the journalist exit the consulate Tuesday.
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