Turkish official confirms Khashoggi was dismembered after being killed
The body of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was cut into pieces after he was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago, a Turkish official told CNN on Tuesday.
The claim was made after Turkish officials searched the Saudi consulate for nine hours on Monday night.
Earlier on Tuesday, a high-level Turkish official told The Associated Press that police searching the consulate had found "certain evidence" of Khashoggi's killing at the premises, without elaborating.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Erdogan told journalists on Tuesday that police sought traces of "toxic" materials and suggested parts of the consulate had been recently painted.
Police planned a second search at the Saudi consul general's home, as well as some of the country's diplomatic vehicles, Turkey's Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.
Leaked surveillance video show diplomatic cars travelled to the consul general's home shortly after Khashoggi went into the consulate.
Saudi Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi left Turkey Tuesday afternoon, state media reported, just as police began putting up barricades around his official residence.
Saudi Arabia did not immediately acknowledge he had left or offer a reason for his departure.
"We did not send him out. He left Turkey of his own accord," CNN-Turk cited a Turkish foreign ministry source as saying.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October to obtain official documents for his upcoming marriage.
Saudi Arabia has strongly denied Khashoggi was killed at the consulate but has failed to explain the journalist's fate after entering its consulate building.
US media reported on Monday that Saudi Arabia was considering an admission that journalist Khashoggi died during an interrogation that went wrong.
The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said the kingdom is weighing whether to say that rogue operatives killed Khashoggi by mistake during an interrogation.
The Journal, like CNN, said the Saudi statement has not been finalized.
Agencies contributed to this report.