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The New York Times reported Tuesday that Jamal Khashoggi, an American resident and a columnist for the Washington Post, was killed by the Saudi Arabian government, according to Turkish officials.

Turkish investigators believe that Khashoggi, 59, was killed shortly after he entered and his body was later removed from the premises, a USA official and sources close to the investigation said.

Bob Corker, who as chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee has reviewed US intelligence on the case, said it was likely that Khashoggi was killed the day he walked into the consulate.

Recall that in June of a year ago, several Arab states - including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and United Arab Emirates (UAE) - broke relations with Qatar and imposed an air, sea and land blockade on Qatar. While it has always been apparent that common values are not shared by all American allies, can we still remain partners when journalists go missing, presumed murdered? "If this is true - that the Saudis lured a USA resident into their consulate and murdered him - it should represent a fundamental break in our relationship with Saudi Arabia", said Sen.

Turkey has requested a search of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, after saying that a journalist was murdered within its walls.

The official said that a security delegation consisting of Saudi investigators arrived in Istanbul on Saturday to participate in the investigations into the disappearance of Khashoggi.

The video, shown on the state-run broadcaster TRT and others, did not offer definitive proof about Khashoggi's fate.

Groups of men thought to be Saudi are seen entering Turkey via Istanbul airport, checking in at hotels and later leaving the country. Jamal Khashoggi has not been seen since he entered the building last week. On Tuesday of last week, October 2, he returned to the consulate.

Mr Khashoggi was visiting the consulate to finalise his divorce so he could marry his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

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In recent days, Americans lawmakers from across the political spectrum have warned the affair could harm US-Saudi relations. Among them was a forensics expert, it says.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said the Vienna Convention allowed for consulates to be searched by the authorities of the host country with the consent of the mission chief. "Although my hope slowly fades away each passing day, I remain confident that Jamal is still alive".

So the Turks are giving the Saudis a little breathing room to put forward their argument, while releasing bits of incriminating information to tighten the screws.

The journalist said he had been banned from writing in the pan-Arab Al-Hayat newspaper, owned by Saudi prince Khaled bin Sultan al-Saud, over his defence of the Muslim Brotherhood which Riyadh has blacklisted as a terrorist organisation.

There are plenty of gruesome rumours flying around over what happened to Jamal Khashoggi.

The consulate rejected the claims that the journalist was killed there as "baseless", in a Twitter message. But this is not simply one side's word against the other.

He had been living since previous year in the United States, in a self-imposed exile, in part due to the rise of Prince Mohammed, the son of King Salman.

Khashoggi previously had close links with the Saudi royal family, including having served as a media aide to Prince Turki al-Faisal, when the latter was director general of the Saudi intelligence agency. So far, senior US administration officials have had little to say publicly on the matter, which is concerning.

Saudi Arabia has denied all allegations around the disappearance, maintaining that Khashoggi left the building through a back entrance, and said it would cooperate in an investigation.


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