Turkish authorities to search Saudi consulate after dissident journalist vanishes

Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks on his cellphone at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland

Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks on his cellphone at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland

"Jamal is not dead".

"I am sure you are following the news stories about Jamal Khashoggi". But Mr Khashoggi thought he had the situation under control. She added that she was waiting for official confirmation as the allegations circulated.

A Turkish government source told AFP that police believed Khashoggi was killed at the Istanbul consulate, which Riyadh strongly denied.

While the Turkish authorities seem confident in their assessment that Khashoggi was indeed murdered, the U.S. administration, while exercising abundant discretion and caution, has said that they are monitoring the developments in Turkey and are yet, not in a position to confirm the death.

Multiple media reports say that the group of 15 Saudis descended on the consulate Tuesday and later left.

But he added that diplomatic cars had been seen moving in and out.

Erdogan said police are looking at surveillance video of the consulate's entrances and exits, as well as at the Istanbul airport. The Turkish private NTV television said Ankara asked for permission for its investigators to search the consulate building, but a Foreign Ministry official would not confirm the report. Footage emerged Tuesday showing Khashoggi entering the building the week before.

Khashoggi, a former Saudi government adviser, had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since a year ago fearing possible arrest.

The agreement came after Turkey's strongman leader Recep Tayyip Erdogan demanded that the Saudis prove that Khashoggi left the consulate alive.

Turkish officials accuse Saudi Arabia of murdering Mr Khashoggi, 59, and dismembering his body. And while the authorities here are so far not providing evidence to back it up, it's inconceivable that such a claim would have been made without firm grounds.

Relations between Canada and Saudi Arabia have been tense in recent months.

The freeze on journalism and free expression isn't limited to Saudi Arabia in the greater Persian Gulf.

Both planes' final destination was the Saudi capital of Riyadh.

It would also put Britain directly at odds with the crown prince, who is a key United Kingdom ally. His columns had appeared in the Washington Post.

The crown prince has unveiled reforms praised by the West while carrying out an apparent crackdown on dissent.

The case has sparked an global human rights outcry and calls for both sides to prove their statements.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia faced increased scrutiny over Khashoggi's disappearance from officials in America, the kingdom's longtime ally.

In the United Arab Emirates on Monday, an influential Emirati official named Ali Rashid al-Nuaimi reportedly told youth gathered for a summit in Abu Dhabi that 'our enemies have partnered with media organisations who have reported that the UAE has a prison camp and is committing human rights abuses in Yemen'.

"We call on the government of Saudi Arabia to support a thorough investigation of Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation", he said.

"I have left my home, my family and my job, and I am raising my voice", he wrote in September 2017.

If the worst is confirmed about the journalist's fate, that may push even more critics underground and leave fewer still willing to speak frankly about the kingdom. That's what I do on Washington Post.

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