Turkey on Friday widened the investigation into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after his visit to the Saudi consulate, by searching a forest in the city.
Ankara also denied giving any audio recording to US officials from the investigation about Khashoggi, a former royal insider who moved to the United States after becoming a critic of the current House of Saud leadership.
Istanbul’s Belgrade forest became a target of the investigation after police focused on the vehicles which had left the consulate on the day Khashoggi disappeared, NTV channel reported. At least one vehicle is suspected to have gone to the forest.
The forest, a vast area and sufficiently remote for even locals to regularly get lost there, is nearly 15 kilometres (over nine miles) away from the Saudi consulate.
Investigators already conducted two searches of the consulate and a nine-hour search of the consul’s residence this week. The Saudi consul, Mohammed al-Otaibi, abruptly left Istanbul for Riyadh on Tuesday.
Pro-government daily Sabah on Friday published new CCTV images of some of the Saudi team arriving in Istanbul and reported that two of the men landed in the city on October 1.
Previously, local media said the 15 men arrived in Turkey on the day that Khashoggi went missing via two private planes, which then returned to Riyadh via Egypt and Dubai.
Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu did not reveal probe details but promised to share information in due course “in a transparent manner”.
“It is out of the question for us to share this or that information with any country,” he said during a visit to Albania’s capital, Tirana.