Turkish police believe the remains of murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have been burned, according to a police report.
Mr Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a team of Saudi operatives on October 2, provoking international revulsion.
The consulate had two wells and a gas and wood floor furnace that could reach heat of more than 1,000C, destroying any DNA traces, Turkey’s state news agency Anadolu reported.
After making numerous contradictory statements about Mr Khashoggi’s fate, Riyadh said he had been killed and his body dismembered when attempts to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia failed.
Police believe information obtained in the investigation indicates that the dismembered remains of Mr Khashoggi may have been burned. Despite Turkey’s probe looking at the kingdom’s consulate, the consul’s residence and several other locations, Mr Khashoggi’s remains have not been found.
Mr Khashoggi’s murder has severely strained ties between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, although Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has good ties with the Saudi monarch, King Salman.
Mr Erdogan has said Mr Khashoggi’s killing was ordered by the highest level of Saudi leadership and has repeatedly called on Saudi officials to identify a “local co-operator” involved in the killing. Riyadh has rejected accusations the crown prince was involved.
Footage showed a man believed to be a Khashoggi impersonator walking alongside a man police say is the “local co-operator”. His identity was not clear.
Police believe Hatice Cengiz, Mr Khashoggi’s fiancée, may have been a second victim in the murder if she had entered the consulate with him.