ISTANBUL (AP) – Turkey’s state-run news agency says the Saudi consul to Istanbul has left for Saudi Arabia, hours after Turkey said his official residence would be searched in connection with a Saudi writer’s disappearance.
The Anadolu news agency reported Tuesday that Consul Mohammed al-Otaibi flew out of the country on a 2 p.m. flight.
Saudi Arabia had no immediate comment on his departure.
The Turkish Foreign Ministry says police will search his official residence and vehicles belonging to the consulate. Authorities have offered no timeframe for those searches.
Turkish forensic teams finished a search of the Saudi Consulate early Tuesday, two weeks after Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi vanished. Turkish officials fear Saudi agents killed him in the consulate and disposed of his body.
Saudi Arabia previously called the allegation “baseless,” but U.S. media reports suggest the Saudis may acknowledge Khashoggi was killed there, perhaps as part of a botched interrogation.