Missing Saudi journalist once a voice of reform in kingdom

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Karman talks to the media during a protest in front of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Another report in the daily newspaper Sabah said investigators were also focused on a convoy of diplomatic vehicles that departed from the consulate on the day Khashoggi vanished.

He added, "we will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do ..."

The UN Office of High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) has called of an independent inquiry into the suspected "enforced disappearance" on October 2 of a Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi. He said he believes Turkish officials soon will announce the findings of their investigation.

Speaking for the first time about the allegations, a UK Foreign Office spokesman said: "These are extremely serious allegations". "I would like to confirm that.Jamal is not at the consulate nor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the consulate and the embassy are working to search for him", the consul-general, Mohammed al-Otaibi, was quoted as saying.

The details will add to pressure on the Saudi government to explain who the 15 Saudis were and what they were doing during their brief trip to Istanbul.

As demands for answers grew, Saudi officials gave journalists a tour Saturday of the six-story building in an effort to prove Khashoggi was not inside. Relations were already strained after Turkey sent troops to the Gulf state of Qatar previous year in a show of support after its Gulf neighbours, including Saudi Arabia, imposed an embargo on Doha. "It is (the duty) of the consulate officials", Erdogan said during a visit to Hungary.

Prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing Tuesday has been killed inside his Saudi Arabia's consulate in Turkey, unnamed sources told media outlets Saturday. However, Riyadh insisted Khashoggi left the consulate while a Turkish government source at the weekend said they believe he was killed.




Mr Khashoggi, who was living in self-imposed exile in the U.S. and working for the Washington Post before his disappearance, was a frequent critic of the kingdom's de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom he described as a "brash and abrasive young innovator" who was "acting like Putin".

Saudi Arabia has called the allegations that it killed the 59-year-old "baseless" but has offered no evidence to show he left the building. Khashoggi had gone to the consulate to obtain documents needed to marry his Turkish fiancee.

He has written multiple columns recently in The Washington Post where he criticized Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Meanwhile, press freedom groups and human rights organizations continued their call for more information about Khashoggi's case and his alleged slaying. She tweeted, "Jamal was not killed and I do not believe he was killed".

Ties between Ankara and Riyadh are at a low point over Turkey's support for Qatar in that country's yearlong dispute with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations.

On Sunday, Erdogan did not directly repeat the investigators' fears about Khashoggi being dead when talking to reporters following a meeting of his Justice and Development Party in Ankara, Turkey's capital.

Khashoggi's final break with the Saudi authorities followed the Arab Spring protests that swept through the region in 2011, shaking the power base of traditional leaders and giving rise to Islamists, only to be followed by unprecedented crackdowns on those calling for change. Their ambassador to the United States insists that he personally had a friendly relationship with Khashoggi and remained in contact whenever both of them were in Washington.

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