Turkish authorities believe prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who disappeared four days ago after entering Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, has been killed.
“The initial assessment of the Turkish police is that Mr Khashoggi has been killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate,” a Turkish official told Reuters news agency on Saturday.
A Saudi source at the consulate denied that Khashoggi had been killed at the mission and said in a statement that the accusations were baseless, Reuters reported.
Turkey’s announcement came four days after the leading critic of the Saudi regime entered the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday to obtain paperwork.
“He went to the consulate four days ago and was then asked to return, which is why the Turkish officials believe it was premeditated and that he was lured in,” Al Jazeera’s Jamal Elshayyal, reporting from Istanbul, said
Elshayyal added there has not been any disclosure of the whereabouts Khashoggi’s body.
“However, we have heard a funeral will take place in the coming two or three days,” he said before adding that it was unknown if Khashoggi’s body will be present at the funeral.
Khashoggi’s fiancee said he was very upset that he had to visit the onculate.
“Before going in, he handed over his phone to me and asked me to call on of Erdogan’s [Turkish president] advisors if he doesn’t return,” Hatice Cengiz told BBC Persian.