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Turkish police search villa in Khashoggi probe

IANS Istanbul
Updated: 27-11-2018 03:56 IST
Turkish police on Monday searched a villa in the village of Samanli, in Yalova province, in connection with the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

According to the state-run Anadolu news agency, officers searched a well in the garden and used sniffer dogs and drones for help with the search.

Last month, President Erdogan had mentioned Yalova as one of the areas a group of Saudis scouted before Khashoggi was killed, CNN reported.

This is the first search law enforcement officials have made public since multiple locations were searched last month, including the Saudi consulate, the consul general's residence, and a forest on the outskirts of Istanbul.

Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, went missing in early October after he visited the country's Istanbul consulate to obtain papers for his impending marriage.

The Saudi Public Prosecutor's Office has said 11 people had been charged in his killing, with five facing the death penalty for direct involvement in "ordering and executing the crime".

The journalist was killed following "a fight and a quarrel" at the Saudi consulate, according to the prosecutor's office. His killers tied him up and injected him with a fatal overdose of a sedative. Then, prosecutors say, they dismembered his body and five removed it from the consulate, according to CNN.

Police have not found Khashoggi's remains.

Riyadh has maintained that neither of the country's leaders, King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, knew of the operation.

But intelligence officials, lawmakers and analysts familiar with the kingdom say an operation of this nature and scale would have required awareness and direction from the crown prince, who controls all the country's security services.

Last week, US President Trump came under fire from Turkey for turning a "blind eye" to the high-profile murder.

During a Thanksgiving call with US troops, Trump undermined the CIA's assessment that the crown prince had personally ordered Khashoggi's killing.

"This approach is wrong," Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told CNN Turk.

"In a way, Mr. Trump's statement means 'Come what may, I will turn a blind eye on this,'" Cavusoglu said. "Money is not everything. We should not distance ourselves from human values."

(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)