Riyadh, Oct 7 (IANS) Saudi Arabia on Sunday denied reports that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing earlier this week, was killed at the country’s consulate in Istanbul, as reported by several international media.
A statement released by the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) cited a diplomatic officer who categorically denied “these baseless allegations, and expressed his doubt that they came from Turkish officials that are informed of the investigation or are authorized to comment on the issue”, reports Efe news.
The official quoted by SPA underlined that Saudi Arabia was responsible for the safety and well-being of all its citizens, wherever they may be, and that its authorities “are diligently following up on this matter to uncover the complete facts”.
The statement came out after reports published on Saturday night by various international media, citing Turkish officials, alleged that Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul.
According to two sources quoted by The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi worked, the journalist died earlier this week at the hands of a Saudi assassination squad.
Turkish news agency Anadolu also reported that the Turkish authorities were investigating the role played by the 15-member special team of Saudi Arabian citizens into Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Khashoggi, former general manager of the Al Arab Media Group and columnist for the Washington Post, disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he has been living in exile since 2017.
The Saudi consulate subsequently issued a statement saying that the journalist had left its premises on October 2, although the Turkish government, which summoned the Saudi ambassador in Ankara demanding explanations on the whereabouts of Khashoggi, said he remained inside the consular precinct.