Employees of Saudi consulate give statements in Khashoggi probe

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Five Turkish employees of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul are giving statements as witnesses under an investigation into the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkish broadcaster NTV said Monday.

Twenty consulate workers, including the consul’s driver, gave statements to prosecutors in relation to the incident last week, NTV has reported previously. Prosecutors are seeking statements from a total of 45 employees, CNN Türk said.

Khashoggi went missing on Oct. 2 when he entered the consulate in Istanbul. After weeks of denying knowledge of his fate, Saudi officials said Saturday the prominent journalist was killed in a “rogue operation.”

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday he would reveal the “truth” about the Khashoggi case on Tuesday while Turkish officials vowed to pursue the case after Saudi Arabia’s admission of guilt.

Comments from Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Sunday were some of the most direct yet from Riyadh, which has given multiple and conflicting accounts about Khashoggi’s killing on Oct. 2, first denying his death and later admitting it amid an international outcry.

Jubeir called Khashoggi’s killing a “huge and grave mistake,” but sought to shield its powerful crown prince from the widening crisis, saying Mohammed bin Salman had not been aware.

After two weeks denying any involvement in the 59-year-old’s disappearance, Saudi Arabia on Saturday said Khashoggi, a critic of the crown prince, died during a fight in the building. An hour later, another Saudi official attributed the death to a chokehold.

“Nothing can justify this killing and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms,” Germany, Britain and France said in their joint statement.

A joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case on Thursday after searching the residence of the consul general as well as the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.