Turkish fiancee of missing Saudi journalist doubts murder reports
The fiancee of a prominent Saudi journalist and critic has said she does not believe reports that he has been murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Hatice Cengiz, who is a Turkish citizen, made the comments late on Saturday after Turkish officials told news agencies they believed Jamal Khashoggi was killed after he entered the Saudi mission this week
"Jamal is not dead! I don't believe he's been killed!" Cengiz wrote in an Arabic-language tweet.
She later explained that was "waiting for official confirmation from the [Turkish] government".
Khashoggi, 59, went missing while on a visit to the consulate in Istanbul for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancee.
The consulate insists the writer left its premises, contradicting Turkish officials.
On Saturday, Turkish officials told multiple international news agencies that they thought Khashoggi was murdered.
"Based on their initial findings, the police believe that the journalist was killed by a team especially sent to Istanbul and who left the same day," an official told AFP.
Turkish officials made similar statements to Reuters and The Associated Press.
A senior Turkish police source told London-based Middle East Eye that Khashoggi was "brutally tortured, killed and cut into pieces" inside the consulate.
The official SPA news agency said the reports were "baseless", citing a consulate official.
In his columns, Khashoggi has been critical of some policies of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Riyadh's intervention in the war in Yemen.
Khashoggi fled the country in September 2017, months after Prince Mohammed was appointed heir to the throne, amid a campaign that saw dozens of dissidents arrested including intellectuals and Islamic preachers.
At least 11 journalists are currently being detained in Saudi Arabia and the kingdom ranks as one of the worst in the world for the media.
Bin Salman has also detained dozens of potential royal and business rivals and held them in Riyadh's Ritz Hotel, including world famous entrepreneur Prince Alwaleed bin Talal.