Police search Saudi's villa in northwest Turkey for 'Khashoggi remains'

Turkish police search at the villa in Turkey

Modal Trigger Turkish police search at the villa in Turkey. Getty Images

News agency Reuters reported last month that investigators had widened their search to Yalova and a forest on the outskirts of Istanbul for the remains of the journalist.

Crime scene investigators aided by dogs and a drone first sealed off one villa near the town of Termal in Yalova province and later searched the grounds of a neighboring villa, according to Anadolu.

After learning this, authorities initiated the search of the Saudi businessman's villas, Anadolu added, but he was not in Turkey during the phone calls with the suspects.

Anadolu, without citing a source, said the villas belong to two Saudi businessmen, including one who had allegedly been contacted by telephone by some members of the Saudi assassination squad. The voice attributed to a Saudi forensic evidence chief also suggests that others witnessing Khashoggi's harrowing fate listened to music in order to drown out the sounds. The report identified the owner of the property as a Saudi national but did not specify what was discussed, according to the official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to disclose details from the ongoing investigation.

A Turkish prosecutor on Monday said the meeting between one of the suspects in Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's killing and a Saudi resident in Turkey's Yalova province was believed to be linked to the disappearance of Khashoggi's body. A joint Turkish-Saudi investigation into Khashoggi's fate has made little progress so far.

Turkey and Saudi Arabia have said that Khashoggi, a contributor to The Washington Post who had criticized the Saudi leadership, was killed by the team of Saudi agents in the consulate. As Khashoggi's children have issued emotional appeals for the return of their father's body, Turkish officials have accused Saudi Arabia of withholding information that could aid in the search.

After initially saying he had left the consulate alive, weeks later the Saudi administration admitted he was killed there, blaming a rogue group of Saudi operatives. The whereabouts of his body are still unknown. Khashoggi was a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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