Saudi Arabia’s consul leaves Turkey ahead of new police search
Missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was last seen in the Saudi consulate before vehicles were seen heading towards the consul’s residence.
The Saudi consul to Istanbul has left for Saudi Arabia, hours after Turkey said his official residence would be searched in connection with a Saudi writer’s disappearance.
The Anadolu news agency reported Tuesday that Consul Mohammed al-Otaibi flew out of the country on a 2pm flight.
Saudi Arabia had no immediate comment on his departure.
The Turkish foreign ministry says police will search his official residence and vehicles belonging to the consulate.
Authorities have offered no time frame for those searches.
Turkish forensic teams finished a search of the Saudi Consulate early Tuesday, two weeks after Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi vanished.
Turkish officials fear Saudi agents killed him in the consulate and disposed of his body.
Saudi Arabia previously called the allegation “baseless”, but US media reports suggest the Saudis may acknowledge Mr Khashoggi was killed there, perhaps as part of a botched interrogation.
Overnight, Turkish forensic teams searched the consulate building in Istanbul where Mr Khashoggi was last seen entering.
Turkish officials have said evidence was found during the search.
Surveillance footage leaked in Turkish media shows vehicles moving between the consulate and the consul’s home after Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance.