Jamal Khashoggi Image Credit: AP

Manama: Saudi Arabia has denied reports that Jamal Khashoggi, a missing Saudi citizen, had been killed inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

A report, citing two Turkish sources that were not identified, said “the initial assessment of the Turkish police is that Khashoggi has been killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. We believe the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate,” one Turkish official was quoted as saying.

However, a Saudi official at the consulate “strongly denounced these baseless allegations” and “expressed doubt that they emanated from Turkish officials who are well-informed about the investigation or are authorised to comment on the issue”.

The Saudi official said a delegation of Saudi investigators tasked with looking into Khashoggi’s disappearance arrived in Istanbul on Saturday following a request by the Saudi government that was accepted by the Turkish authorities.

Saudi Arabia is keen on the safety and wellbeing of its citizens wherever they are, the official added.

“The relevant authorities in the Kingdom are diligently following up on this matter to uncover the complete facts,” the official said.

Khashoggi, a veteran media figure, has been missing since Tuesday. His fiancée, a Turkish citizen Hatice (Khadija) said he entered the consulate in Istanbul for paperwork and never came out.

The consulate dismissed reports it was detaining him and insisted he left the consulate.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman said on Thursday that Turkish authorities were welcome to check the premises of the consulate as part of the investigations they launched to locate Khashoggi.