Saudi Consulate employees testify on Khashoggi killing

By Muhammed Enes Can and Murat Kaya

ISTANBUL (AA) – A number of employees of the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul have been testifying as part of an ongoing probe into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a judicial source said on Monday.

Prosecutors are currently taking statements of five employees at the Istanbul Caglayan Courthouse, said the source, who asked not to be named due to restrictions on speaking to the media.

The remaining 17 personnel — both Turkish and foreign nationals — are expected to appear at the courthouse for submitting their testimony as part of Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office's probe, the sources added.

Last week, a total of 23 consulate employees had also spoken to the prosecutors.

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, had gone missing since entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

After days of denying to know his whereabouts, Saudi Arabia on Saturday claimed Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate.

On the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.

A joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case on Thursday after searching the residence of the consul general as well as the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

On Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he will make a statement on Khashoggi’s killing on Tuesday during his party's group meeting at the parliament.