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Saudi Arabia to let Turkey search consulate over missing journalist

AFP  |  Ankara 

has agreed to let Turkish authorities search the kingdom's consulate after and went missing last week, the Turkish foreign ministry said Tuesday.

"Saudi authorities said they were open to cooperation and that a search can be conducted at the consulate building," the said in a statement.

The search will take place as part of the official investigation, which was being conducted "in an intense manner", he said without giving any date.

Khashoggi, a contributor who wrote for Arab and Western media, vanished last Tuesday after visiting the consulate to obtain official documents.

were looking into two private aircraft which landed at on Tuesday at different times carrying 15 people of interest in the case, as well as the possibility that was kidnapped and taken aboard one of the planes, reported.

Previously Saudi told that would be ready to welcome Turkish officials to search the premises.

sought permission Sunday to carry out a search after the foreign ministry summoned the Saudi for a second time, Turkish television reported.

Riyadh's in was first called to the ministry on Wednesday.

Khashoggi, a former adviser, had been living in self-imposed exile in the since last year fearing possible arrest.

He has been critical of some policies of the and Riyadh's intervention in the war in

While claimed he had left the consulate after his visit, said did not emerge from the building.

Government sources said police believe the was killed inside the consulate.

Police also said a team of 15 Saudis were sent to and were in the building at the same time as Khashoggi.

Turkish security officials were working to identify the 15 individuals, English-language reported, adding that Turkish officials believe the Saudis may have taken the consulate's CCTV footage with them when they returned to

According to pro-government daily Sabah, the team arrived in on two private planes, one which landed after 03h00 (0000 GMT) on Tuesday while the second plane landed around 17h00 (1400 GMT) after Khashoggi entered the consulate.

The individuals checked into two hotels close to the consulate, the daily said. Both planes later returned to Riyadh with one stopping in and the other in Egypt, reported, adding the police were looking into the possibility that Khashoggi was kidnapped.

The planes belonged to a company based in which has links to the state.

experts were analysing vehicles which entered and left the consulate, some of which were then seen on camera last Tuesday at the consul-general's residence, 200 metres away, the daily said.

The newspaper also claimed that Turkish employees at the residence were "hastily" told to take a holiday on the day Khashoggi went missing.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Tue, October 09 2018. 19:30 IST
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