By Ferhat Demircan
ANKARA (AA) – Turkey's justice minister on Thursday said missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi case is being "thoroughly" investigated and "results are expected to come out soon."
Interviewed at Anadolu Agency's Editors' Desk in Ankara, Abdulhamit Gul said Turkish prosecutors are investigating the issue "deeply, successfully and in every step of the way."
The Istanbul prosecutors' office will reveal the truth behind the disappearance of Khashoggi, Gul said, adding that "whatever the international law requires will be done."
Khashoggi has long been feared killed after he entered the Saudi Consulate building in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and was never seen leaving.
On the same day, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while Khashoggi was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.
On Wednesday, crime scene investigation units arrived at the Istanbul residence of Mohammad al-Otaibi around 4.40 p.m. local time (1340 GMT). Al-Otaibi left Turkey for Riyadh on Tuesday.
Officials from a joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case early Thursday after searching the Saudi consul general's official residence as well as the Saudi consulate building in Istanbul.
The Turkish team concluded its search for evidence in nine hours and left but returned to the Saudi consulate to continue searching the premises.
– Brunson decision
Minister Gul also spoke on the newly freed American pastor Andrew Brunson.
"The Turkish judiciary did not make its decision under any influence, under any orders," he said. "This person is not acquitted, the court's verdict was conviction."
Gul said Brunson's judicial control and travel ban orders were lifted in accordance with the verdict.
Brunson was arrested in December 2016 and charged in the Aegean province of Izmir with being a member of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETO), the group behind a defeated coup earlier that year.
After being transferred this July from jail to house arrest, on Friday Brunson was sentenced to just over three years in prison, but released due to time served and his good behavior in custody.
The charges against him included spying for both FETO and the PKK, a group recognized as terrorist by the U.S. and EU, and which is responsible for some 40,000 deaths in Turkey, including women and children.
– Thousands of terrorists jailed
The justice minister also gave out some statistics about members of terror groups in the country's jails.
Gul said there are 1,161 Daesh members, around 32,000 FETO and 10,000 PKK members jailed in Turkey.
In its more than 30-year terror campaign against Turkey, the PKK — listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the U.S. and the EU — has been responsible for the deaths of some 40,000 people, including women and children.