Khashoggi murder suspect contacted Saudi national living in Yalova: Prosecutor
The Istanbul Chief Prosecutor’s Office has said that the raid on a villa in Turkey’s northwestern province of Yalova was based on information pointing that one of the Khashoggi murderers contacted a Saudi businessperson residing there.
“It has been established that one of the perpetrators of killing Khashoggi contacted a Saudi Arabia national residing in Yalova just a day before the incident [on Oct. 1]. The communication has been considered to be about the disposal/hiding of Khashoggi’s corpse,” read a statement from the prosecutor’s office on Nov. 26.
The prosecutor’s office named the squad member as Mansour Othman M. Abahussain and the Saudi national residing at the Yalova mansion as Mohammed Ahmed A. Alfaozan.
Crime scene investigators and other officials aided by sniffer dogs and a drone, first sealed off one of the villas in the Samanlı village of Yalova province and later expanded their search to the grounds of the neighboring villa.
The focus of the search was a well on the grounds of the first villa, which was being drained of water with special equipment brought to the scene.
Local media reported last month that investigators had widened their search to Yalova and a forest on the outskirts of Istanbul for the remains of the journalist.
Turkey has maintained pressure on Saudi Arabia over killing of the U.S.-based columnist for The Washington Post. Khashoggi was a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Turkey says the journalist was killed by a 15-member assassination squad sent from Riyadh. The assassins strangled and dismembered him before removing his remains, which have yet to be found.
Ankara insists the orders for the killing came from the highest levels of the Saudi government, but not King Salman.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan had previously said that he did not believe “for a second” that King Salman had ordered “the hit” and he also refrained from directly accusing the crown prince.
Erdoğan had also said the international community has the responsibility to “reveal the puppet masters” behind the killing.
The Saudi agents blamed for the killing included some members of the crown prince’s security entourage.