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Oct 20 2018

Not long before investigators discover what happened to Khashoggi's body - Turkish official

A senior Turkish official on Saturday said what happened to the body of the slain dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi will be unveiled "before long" by investigators, Reuters news agency reported.

Saudi Arabia on Saturday said Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the country’s consulate in İstanbul on Oct.2, had died in a fight inside the building. Riyadh’s acknowledgement of the 60-year-old journalist’s death arrived after two weeks of denials that it was involved in his disappearance which has created international outrage.

Turkish officials have previously stated 15 Saudi national hitmen travelled to Istanbul and killed Khashoggi inside the building before dismembering his body.

DNA samples were being obtained from the Saudi consulate and the consul's residence in Turkey, the Turkish official speaking on condition of anonymity told Reuters.

"The DNA is being procured from within Turkey. It seems there will be no need to ask Saudi Arabia at the moment," the official said.

Khashoggi’s killers may have dumped his remains in the rural location in Belgrad Forest, which is a 90-km (55 mile) drive south of Istanbul, the Turkish official is quoted as saying.

Meanwhile, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas have issued a statement regarding the death of the Saudi journalist. People responsible for the former Washington Post contributor "must be held accountable," German broadcaster Deutsche Welle quoted the pair as saying in a joint statement on Saturday.

The pair condemned the reporter's death "in the strongest possible terms," noting, ‘’We expect transparency from Saudi Arabia regarding the circumstances of the death and its background.’’

International human rights watchdog Amnesty International has said the Saudi account of events are "not trustworthy,"calling on Riyadh to produce Khashoggi's body so that independent forensic experts might determine the cause of the journalist’s death.

Samah Hadid, Amnesty's Middle East director of campaigns, called for an investigation to be headed by the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres in order to avoid a "Saudi whitewash" on the case.

According to Hadid, an international probe would curb the efforts of other governments to "sweep the issue under the carpet to preserve lucrative arms deals and other business ties with Riyadh."