The Latest: UN urges lifting of diplomatic immunity in probe
ISTANBUL — The Latest on the disappearance of a Saudi writer who Turkish officials fear was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul (all times local):
The U.N. human rights office is calling for the immediate and “absolute” lifting of diplomatic immunity enjoyed by any officials or premises in the investigation into the disappearance and suspected slaying of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.
U.N. rights chief Michelle Bachelet said the “inviolability or immunity” of people or premises granted under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations “should be waived immediately.”
She said Tuesday the “onus is on the Saudi authorities” to reveal what happened, and insisted “no further obstacles” should be placed in the way of a quick, thorough, impartial and transparent investigation.
Bachelet stopped short of calling for an international investigation.
Rights office spokesman Rupert Colville said “we hope the lifting of immunity is absolute” and that “investigators need to be able to investigate everything they may wish.”
Turkish media are quoting President Recep Tayyip Erdogan as saying police investigators have searched for traces of “toxic materials” at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul where Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared two weeks ago.
NTV television says Erdogan made the comments to a group of journalists on Tuesday.
Turkish officials believe Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate. Saudi Arabia previously called the allegation “baseless,” but reports suggest they may acknowledge Khashoggi was killed there.
Turkish forensic investigators searched the consulate overnight. A Turkish official said on Tuesday the top Saudi diplomat’s residence in Istanbul would also be searched.
State-run Anadolu Agency quoted Erdogan as saying Turkey wished a “result that allows us to reach an opinion” as to what happened to the journalist.
A Turkish Foreign Ministry official says Turkish authorities will search the residence of the top Saudi diplomat in Istanbul over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance.
The official did not say when the search of the consul’s home would take place. The official spoke on Tuesday on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations.
Khashoggi disappeared two weeks ago on a visit to the consulate. Turkish officials fear Saudi officials killed and dismembered the writer inside the mission. Saudi Arabia previously called the allegation “baseless,” but reports suggest they may acknowledge Khashoggi was killed there.
Overnight, Turkish forensic teams searched the consulate building in Istanbul where Khashoggi was last seen entering. Turkish officials have not said if any significant evidence was found.
Surveillance footage leaked in Turkish media shows vehicles moving between the consulate and the consul’s home after Khashoggi’s disappearance.
—Suzan Fraser in Ankara, Turkey;
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is meeting now with Saudi King Salman over the disappearance of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Pompeo arrived at a royal palace in Riyadh on Tuesday. The king greeted Pompeo by saying: “I hope you are comfortable here.”
Pompeo responded: “Thank you for accepting my visit on behalf of President (Donald) Trump.”
Pompeo is to also meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Mohammed, whom Khashoggi wrote critically about in The Washington Post and whose rise in power saw the writer go into a self-imposed exile in the U.S.
Khashoggi disappeared two weeks ago at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkey fears Khashoggi was killed and dismembered at the consulate. Saudi Arabia previously called the allegation “baseless,” but reports suggest the kingdom may soon acknowledge the writer was killed there.
The United Nations’ high commissioner for human rights is urging Saudi Arabia and Turkey to “reveal everything they know about the disappearance and possible extrajudicial killing” of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Michelle Bachelet made the comment on Tuesday as U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Saudi Arabia to talk to King Salman about Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Meanwhile, Turkish forensic investigators overnight searched the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, where Khashoggi disappeared Oct. 2.
Bachelet said: “Given there seems to be clear evidence that Mr. Khashoggi entered the consulate and has never been seen since, the onus is on the Saudi authorities to reveal what happened to him from that point onwards.”
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman over the disappearance and alleged slaying of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Pompeo landed on Tuesday morning in Riyadh and was to immediately meet the king over the crisis surrounding Khashoggi, who disappeared two weeks ago on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
Turkish officials say they fear Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate. Saudi officials previously have called the allegations “baseless,” but reports in U.S. media on Tuesday suggested the kingdom may acknowledge the writer was killed there.
U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is on his way to Saudi Arabia to speak to its king over the disappearance and alleged slaying of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.
Pompeo was in the air when a Turkish police forensics team wrapped up its hourslong search of the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul early Tuesday morning.
Khashoggi vanished on a visit to the consulate two weeks ago. Turkish officials fear he was killed and dismembered. Saudi Arabia has called those allegations “baseless,” but has been unable to explain what happened to him.
Reports overnight by U.S. media suggest Saudi Arabia soon may concede Khashoggi was killed at the consulate in an interrogation.
The kingdom has not responded to repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press.