Jamal Khashoggi: Turkey police raid luxury villa in search for remains

Jamal Khashoggi: Turkey police raid luxury villa in search for remains

Jamal Khashoggi: Turkey police raid luxury villa in search for remains

Police officials told ABC News that at least 40 police officers and forensic workers took part in the search at an isolated mansion outside the village of Termal, in Yalova province.

During the initial search in October, police said they explored the buildings on the compound, but this morning authorities returned with dogs and drones to begin a more detailed investigation of the grounds.

Other Turkish media reports however went further, saying police were searching for the remains of The Washington Post columnist who wrote critically about Saudi Arabia's crown prince.

It was not immediately clear who owns the villa.

On the grounds of the first villa, investigators using special equipment drained water from a well, Anadolu reported.

Turkish authorities say a team of 15 Saudi officials were sent to kill Khashoggi, who was 59, but Riyadh insists the assassination team conducted a rogue operation.

Anadolu said some of the suspects had spoken to an unnamed Saudi citizen on the phone.

Khashoggi (top right), 59, was butchered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last month, sparking worldwide outrage.

Turkish judicial sources have said that Khashoggi was "strangled" as soon as he entered the diplomatic mission and his body was then "cut into pieces" under a "premeditated plan".

Saudi Arabia has insisted that the prince was not involved in the killing but United States senators have said they believe he was responsible. Khashoggi was a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Intelligence officials in several Western countries say the killing was nearly certainly carried out with either the authorization or knowledge of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler.

Yalova Gov. Muammer Erol confirmed that a search related to Khashoggi's killing was taking place but said any announcement would come from Istanbul's chief prosecutor, who is leading the Turkish probe into the killing.

The kingdom initially said Khashoggi had walked out of the consulate before shifting its account of what happened amid Turkish intelligence leaks.

His body has not been found and his death has triggered widespread global criticism of Riyadh.

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