Turkish police suspect Saudi journalist Khashoggi was killed at consulate

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A prominent Saudi journalist and critic of the regime was murdered at the country's consulate in Istanbul last week by a 15-member team sent specifically for the goal, Turkish officials claimed yesterday.

"The official strongly denounced these baseless allegations, and expressed doubt that they came from Turkish officials that are informed of the investigation or are authorized to comment on the issue", the statement from the Saudi Press Agency says, in part.

A Turkish official separately told the AP that authorities believe Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Consulate. "We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate".

Turkey has opened a probe into the disappearance of a Saudi journalist who has not been seen since he went inside the Saudi mission in Istanbul four days ago, the state-run Anadolu news agency said Saturday.

In the interview published Friday, the Saudi crown prince also said he understood that Khashoggi had entered the consulate "and he got out after a few minutes or one hour". While he applauded the social reforms spearheaded by the leadership-such as the decision to allow women to drive-he spoke out against the crackdown against the shrinking space for freedom of speech in Saudi Arabia.

A fierce critic of Saudi policies, the royal family and its power, Mr Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in Washington for the past year, fearing retribution for his views. "But every time I hear about another arrest or about a friend who is travel banned, I am grateful I am here", he told The Wall Street Journal in May, speaking from Washington.

Why might Saudi Arabia want to hold Khashoggi?

"At least I am safe here". "But I said 'King - we're protecting you - you might not be there for two weeks without us - you have to pay for your military, '", Trump said. On Wednesday, the Turkish foreign ministry summoned the Saudi ambassador and asked for an explanation about the disappearance.

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Meanwhile, President Erdogan said that he was personally following the case, adding that he still hoped for a positive outcome to the matter.

The statement went on to say that Saudi Arabia "routinely uses draconian laws to crack down on peaceful dissent at home, and has even arrested dissidents overseas in the past". "Until otherwise demonstrated, he is still inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and the Saudi authorities are responsible for his safety and well-being", she said in a statement.

"Ever since the relationship started between Saudi Arabia and the United States of America, we've bought everything with money", he told Bloomberg in an interview.

Since fleeing his native Saudi Arabia in 2017 amid a clampdown on opposing views to the Saudi regime, Khashoggi later took up a position as columnist at the Washington Post. He said the Saudi royal family were just as afraid as common citizens that Prince Mohammed might order their arrest for speaking out.

Investigators said a 15-person team arrived at the consulate on Tuesday, returning to Riyadh the same day. "If I go back, I have to dance their dance".

"Most of their cases have nothing to do with freedom of speech and a lot of them will return to their homes when the process is finished", he said.

-Peter Wonacott contributed to this article.