Turkey to search Saudi Consulate for missing Khashoggi

Saudi Arabian officials invited Turkish experts and related officials to visit its consulate in Istanbul, following the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi a week ago
Tuesday, 09 October 2018 17:55

Turkey said Tuesday it will search the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul as part of an investigation into the disappearance of a missing Saudi contributor to The Washington Post, a week after he vanished during a visit there.

Turkish officials have said they fear 59-year-old Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the premises.

Khashoggi, a former newspaper editor in Saudi Arabia, left the country last year. He advised Prince Turki al-Faisal, former Saudi intelligence chief, and has also been close to billionaire investor Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.

Saudi Arabia has called the allegations that it killed Khashoggi "baseless" but has offered no evidence over the past seven days to show that he ever left the building. Turkish President Tayyip Erdoğan on Monday asked Riyadh to prove its claim that Khashoggi had left the consulate.

Tuesday's statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Hami Aksoy, said Saudi authorities have notified Ankara that they were "open to cooperation" and would allow the consulate building to be searched. The ministry did not say when the premises would be searched.

The United Nations human rights office voiced deep concern on Tuesday at the "apparent enforced disappearance" and possible murder of  Khashoggi a week ago and urged the two countries to investigate.

"We call for cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the circumstances of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance and to make the findings public," U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a Geneva news briefing. The two countries have such an obligation under both criminal law and international human rights law, she said.