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Turkish Investigators Search Saudi Consulate In Istanbul For Second Time


A demonstrator holds a picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest in front of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

Turkish investigators have searched the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul for a second time as part of an investigation into missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi leadership, has not been seen since he entered the consulate on October 2 .

On October 17, pro-government Turkish media outlets published allegations that Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and contributor to The Washington Post, was killed by being gradually dismembered by a Saudi assassination squad.

Investigators also searched the consulate's garden and consular vehicles, eyewitnesses said.

During the first search on October 15, investigators took away soil and DNA samples.

Investigators also searched the Saudi consul's residence earlier on October 18. The consul, Muhammad al-Otaibi, left Turkey on a commercial flight on October 16.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on October 17 met with Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to discuss Khashoggi's case.

A U.S. State Department statement said Pompeo offered U.S. assistance in Turkey's investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance.

On October 16, Pompeo held meetings in Riyadh with King Salman and Crown Prince Muhammad -- one of the main targets of Khashoggi's criticism.

U.S. President Donald Trump has said he is waiting for a full report from Pompeo, whom he is scheduled to meet on October 18.

Trump said the United States had asked Turkey for any audio or video evidence.

Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak published on October 17 what it said were details from audio recordings purportedly documenting Khashoggi's torture and interrogation inside the consulate.

It said Khashoggi was killed within seven minutes and his torturers severed his fingers during the interrogation. His killers later beheaded and dismembered him, it said.

Turkish officials have declined to comment.

Based on reporting by Reuters and AP
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