by WorldTribune Staff, October 7, 2018
A team of assassins killed a prominent Saudi journalist inside Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkish police said.
The journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, was last seen inside the consulate on Oct. 2. Turkish officials said Khashoggi was killed on the premises and his body was then removed.
“Based on their initial findings, the police believe that the journalist was killed by a team especially sent to Istanbul and who left the same day,” an unnamed Turkish government official told AFP.
Police confirmed that around 15 Saudis, including officials, arrived in Istanbul on two flights on Oct. 2 and were at the consulate at the same time as Khashoggi.
Khashoggi, a contributor to The Washington Post and a former Saudi government adviser who has been critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, “did not come back out” of the building, police told the state-run Anadolu news agency.
In an interview with Bloomberg, the Saudi crown prince said he was ready to allow Turkish authorities to search the building because “we have nothing to hide.”
The prince said the Saudis were “very keen to know what happened to him,” saying his understanding was that Khashoggi left “after a few minutes or one hour.”
Saudi Arabia’s consul-general told Reuters that his country was helping search for Khashoggi, and dismissed talk of his possible abduction.
Khashoggi lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since last year.
The United States is seeking more information, a State Department official said.
“We are not in a position to confirm these reports, but we are following them closely,” the official said, according to Reuters.