Turkey questions staff at Saudi consulate in İstanbul about Khashoggi disappearance

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Entrance of the Saudi consulate is seen as the waiting continues on the disappearance of Prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in Istanbul, Turkey on October 19, 2018. Turkish and Saudi Arabian officials started joint investigation of case of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi. 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. AFP PHOTOS

Turkish prosecutors have begun questioning a number of locally hired employees of the Saudi Consulate General in İstanbul over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to Turkey’s state-run Anadolu news agency.

As many as 15 Turkish staff members were being questioned on Friday, the report said, adding that the consul general’s driver, technicians, accountants and telephone operators were among the those interrogated by prosecutors.

Khashoggi was last seen entering the consulate on Oct. 2. Reports say Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered inside the consulate by members of an assassination squad.

Meanwhile, a former head of Britain’s MI6 overseas intelligence agency said Khashoggi was probably killed on the orders of people close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

John Sawers, who headed MI6 between 2009 and 2014, said, “All the evidence points to it being ordered and carried out” by people close to Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler.

Sawers told the BBC, “I don’t think he would have done this if he hadn’t thought he had license from the US administration to frankly behave as he wished …”

Sawers said the fate of Khashoggi was a wake-up call to the Trump administration about “just how dangerous it is to have people acting with a sense that they have impunity in their relationship with United States.”

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