Turkey denies Trump's claim of US investigators working on Khashoggi's case

Jamal Khashoggi. Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Turkey Oct 11, 2018, 10.10 PM (IST)

Turkey on Thursday denied a claim by US President Donald Trump that American investigators were collectively working with both Ankara and Riyadh to probe the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"The information that the United States has tasked investigators over the Khashoggi case is not correct," said a Turkish diplomatic source quoted by the state-run Anadolu news agency. 

The US President had said earlier that US investigators were working with Saudis and Turkey to find the whereabouts of the missing journalist.

Trump had said "we have investigators over there and we're working with Turkey and frankly we're working with Saudi Arabia".

Senior journalist Khashoggi, 59, who is a strong critic of the Saudi establishment had taken US citizenship after leaving his country and had written several articles against Saudi Arabia's repressive policies for the Washington Post.

The New York Times revealed on Wednesday that a group of 15 men flew down to Turkey in a private jet in order to kill Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey. The Turkish government openly accused Saudi Arabia of colluding to kill the journalist.

Khashoggi had entered the Saudi consulate to submit documents seeking a divorce from his wife living in Saudi Arabia so that he could remarry again in Turkey.

Saudi Arabia has denied any hand in Khashoggi's disappearance asserting that he walked out of the consulate from the back door. However, his fiance, Hatice Cengiz, who accompanied him to the consulate on October 2nd said he never came out of the consulate as she waited outside. 

Initially, the Turkey president Erdogan had said the journalist was being held inside the consulate as Saudi Arabia gave Turkish authorities permission to enter the premises and search for him, however, the authorities soon began to reveal through sources that he had, in fact, being killed, as reported by the New York Times article.

Khashoggi's own website on 3rd October had posted a message saying he was arrested at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul but state-run Saudi Press Agency said he had left the building and the consulate was carrying out follow-up procedures and coordinating with the Turkish authorities to "uncover the circumstances" of his disappearance.

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"The information that the United States has tasked investigators over the Khashoggi case is not correct," said a Turkish diplomatic source quoted by the state-run Anadolu news agency. 

Trump earlier said "we have investigators over there and we're working with Turkey and frankly we're working with Saudi Arabia".