Police searched two villas in the province of Yalova in southern Istanbul Monday, in connection with the search for Jamal Khashoggi‘s body, Al Jazeera reported.
Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate’s building in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documentation certifying he had divorced his ex-wife. He was not seen since.
Saudi Arabia has admitted that the Saudi critic died in a premeditated murder inside its Istanbul consulate – after weeks of consistent denials that it had anything to do with his disappearance.
Turkish media have reported Khashoggi was killed and dismembered based on recordings from the consulate. They say he died at the hands of a 15-member assassination squad from Saudi Arabia.
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Officials brought sniffer dogs and forensic teams were also on the scene.
The Istanbul prosecutor’s office said one of the villas belongs to a Saudi businessman named Mohammed Ahmed Alfaouzan, who is allegedly close to the Saudi crown prince, Turkish media reported.
Turkish media outlets also said that Alfaouzan received the phone call from Mansour Othman Abahussain, an officer in the Saudi military and one of the 15 men accused of carrying out Khashoggi’s death.
According to the Turkish prosecutor, a phone call was made a day before Khashoggi was killed to the villa, and in that conversation details were discussed as to how to dispose of Khashoggi’s body, AJ reported.
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Meanwhile, Argentina has been asked to investigate Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for possible war crimes in Yemen and the murder of Khashoggi.
New York-based Human Rights Watch said it submitted the request to Argentina’s federal judge Ariel Lijo on Monday. MBS is expected to arrive in Buenos Aires on Friday for the G20 summit.
Argentina’s constitution recognises universal jurisdiction for war crimes and torture, meaning judicial authorities can investigate and prosecute those crimes no matter where they were committed.
“There’s an extremely strong basis for Argentina to closely examine a very broad record of documentation and facts. People around the world are desperate to see real accountability for people who are getting away with terrible crimes,” HRW’s Middle East and North Africa director Sarah Leah Whitson was quoted by AJ as having said.
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Moreover, Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said in an interview that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had asked for a meeting with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and that there was currently no reason not to meet him.
“Yes, he has asked Erdogan on the phone, whether they could meet in Buenos Aires. Erdogan’s answer was ‘Let’s see’,” Cavusoglu told Germany’s Sueddeutsche Zeitung newspaper.
Erdogan and Prince Mohammed will attend the G20 meeting in Argentina later this week. “At the moment there is no reason not to meet with the crown prince,” Cavusoglu said.
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