Istanbul, Oct 26 (IANS) The Turkish police have found no DNA traces in water samples taken from a well at the residence of the Saudi Arabian consul in Istanbul as they searched for the body of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the media reported on Friday.
Teams of investigators were able to access the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul for the first time on October 15, 13 days after the Saudi journalist entered there and was killed, as Riyadh has already admitted.
On October 17, the teams obtained permission to search the consular residence, located about 200 metres away.
Turkish Hurriyet newspaper reported that the police tried to empty the water from a well located at the residence, but the Saudi authorities refused to allow access to firefighters because they did not appear on a previously agreed list of names.
The agents later inspected the well with a camera and took samples of water, which were sent to a laboratory, Efe news reported citing the daily.
However, no traces of Khashoggi’s DNA were detected.
The daily said that all vehicles of the consulate were subjected to a thorough professional cleaning before the Turkish teams received permission to search them.
The Saudi public prosecutor’s office admitted on Thursday that the killing of the Washington Post contributor had been planned in advance, adding that those responsible for the crime would be punished.
Initially, Saudi Arabia had said Khashoggi left its consulate alive on October 2. But nearly three weeks later, the kingdom admitted he had been killed at the diplomatic mission’s building in a fist fight, an account that generated scepticism and which several governments questioned.
Later, the Saudi prosecutor’s office announced 18 people had been arrested and that the security officials involved in the case had stepped down.
Turkey said it believed a hit squad of Saudi nationals had travelled to Istanbul with the sole purpose of killing Khashoggi, a former member of the Saudi elite who became critical of the current government’s administration in his country.