The Washington Post published a surveillance image on Oct. 9 showing its missing Saudi contributor walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul a week ago, just before he disappeared. Turkish officials have said they fear the columnist was killed there.
The image released by the Post bore a date and date stamp. The Post said “a person close to the investigation” shared the image with them.
Khashoggi, 59, went missing while on a visit to the consulate in Istanbul for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancee. The consulate insists the writer left its premises, contradicting Turkish officials.
He had been living since last year in the United States, in a self-imposed exile, in part due to the rise of Prince Mohammed, the son of King Salman.
As a contributor to the Post, Khashoggi has written extensively about Saudi Arabia, including criticizing its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women’s rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving. All those issues have been viewed as being pushed by Prince Mohammed, who similarly has led roundups of activists, businessmen and others in the kingdom.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on Oct. 8 urged the Saudis to back up their claim that Khashoggi left the consulate.
“Now when this person enters, whose duty is it to prove that he left or not? It is (the duty) of the consulate officials,” Erdoğan said during a visit to Hungary. “Don’t you have cameras and other things? Why don’t you prove it, you have to prove it.”
Turkey summoned the Saudi ambassador on Oct. 7 to request the kingdom’s “full cooperation” in the investigation, a Foreign Ministry official said.
Ankara reportedly asked for permission for its investigators to search the consulate building.