Missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is seen walking into the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul in a surveillance photo published Tuesday by the Washington Post, and Turkish officials announced they've now been given permission to search the consulate -- where Khashoggi was last seen.
The photo published by the Washington Post, a newspaper Khashoggi contributed a column to, showed the journalist about to walk into the consulate, where he was going to obtain documents related to his upcoming marriage to a Turkish woman. The image of Khashoggi was captured by a closed-circuit television camera and Turkish intelligence has retrieved footage from numerous cameras pointed at the consulate’s entrances, the Post reported.
“The Saudi authorities have notified that they are open to cooperation in this regard and that the examination can be conducted in their consular buildings in Istanbul,” a Turkish foreign ministry spokesperson said Tuesday, without elaborating as to when the search would happen.
Khashoggi – a frequent critic of the Saudi government – is feared to have been dismembered inside the consulate’s walls. Turkish officials have also claimed he was killed and other reports say Saudi Arabia sent a 15-member team to carry out a “pre-planned murder.”
But Saudi Arabia claims Khashoggi exited the property on his own last week – and have denied responsibility for any harm that may have come to him.
"Jamal is a Saudi citizen whose safety and security is a top priority for the Kingdom, just as is the case with any other citizen,” read an email from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that he sent to close contacts and was obtained by Fox News on Monday. “We will not spare any effort to locate him, just as we would if it were any other Saudi citizen."
The case has sparked an international human rights outcry and calls for both sides to prove their statements.
“I no longer feel like I am really alive,” Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancé, told the Washington Post. “I can’t sleep. I don’t eat.”
She says two plainclothes Turkish police officers have been following her around for protection and that authorities stopped by yesterday to interview her a second time and take some of Khashoggi’s clothes and belongings for DNA sampling.