The investigation into the missing dissident Saudi journalist in Istanbul, who entered into his country’s Consulate and never returned, has entered into a very sensitive and decisive phase. Turkish officials have confirmed the death of the Jamal Khashoggi, who was critical of the present Riyadh government through his writings in Washington Post.
According to Turkish newspaper Hurriyet Daily News from Istanbul, the Turkish officials suspect that Khashoggi’s body might have been taken out of Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul in two black vans owned by the mission.
Another newspaper Sabah reported on Monday that “the biggest suspicion” in the investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance last week was on “two of six vehicles that departed the consulate two hours after Khashoggi entered the building.” One of the vehicles carries tainted windows.
The investigators, who have examined the CCTV footage of the area say that the six vehicles were divided into two groups after leaving the consulate on Oct. 2, one of them going to the left and the other to the right. Haivng diplomatic number places police could not search the vehicles.
Another target of the investigative team is on 15 Saudi citizens who came to Turkey on two different flights on the day of the incident who entered the consulate and left the same day after Khashoggi’s disappearance.
The 59-year-old dissident journalist went missing while on a visit to the consulate for some paper work as he was planning to marry in a few days. A Turkish fiancée Hattice, who was waiting outside of the consulate insists the writer did not return. However, Saudi consulate had earlier said that Khashoggi went missing only after he left the mission.
A Turkish official said on Saturday evening, “The initial assessment of the Turkish police is that Mr. Khashoggi has been killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul.”
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said on Sunday that he was “personally” following the case.