Khashoggi probe: Turkish investigators find suitcases in Saudi consulate vehicle

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It remains unclear if the suitcases and other items belonged to the Saudi journalist, Turkish police tells MEE

A Saudi consulate vehicle was found in a parking lot in Istanbul on Monday (Reuters)
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Tuesday 23 October 2018 16:43 UTC
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Turkish investigators have discovered two suitcases, as well as a computer and paperwork, inside a car belonging to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a Turkish police source told Middle East Eye.

It remains unclear for the time being whether the items belonged to slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, however, the source said on Tuesday.

Turkish police found the items after searching the green-plated vehicle, which was discovered on Monday in a parking lot in Istanbul's Sultangazi district as part of the ongoing probe into Khashoggi's murder.

A Saudi team accompanied the Turkish investigators as they carried out their search, Turkish sources involved in the investigation told MEE.

Turkish officials say they believe Khashoggi was killed and dismembered after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

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'Gruesome murder': Erdogan says Jamal Khashoggi's killing was premeditated

While Saudi officials initially denied knowing anything about Khashoggi's whereabouts, they said on Friday the journalist was killed after a fist fight broke out inside the consulate.

Saudi Arabia's latest version of events has been criticised as unreliable and riddled with holes, and world leaders, human rights groups and many others have called for an independent investigation into what happened.

Earlier on Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Khashoggi's killing was premeditated, and said the Saudi journalist was the victim of a "gruesome murder".

"We have some information that the murder was pre-planned, not spontaneous. It is clear that this operation did not happen at the drop of a dime, it was a planned operation," Erdogan said.

"On whose orders have these people come? We are seeking answers. Leaving some intelligence and security forces holding the bag will not satisfy either us or the international community."