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The testimonies of witnesses have started to be taken as part of the investigation launched into the killing of the Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in İstanbul.
22 employees of the Consulate General, including the ones from Turkey and the foreign nationals, came to the İstanbul Courthouse in Çağlayan to give their depositions today (October 22).
As reported by the state-run Anadolu Agency, while the investigation has been conducted by the Prosecutor's Office of the Terror and Organized Crimes Bureau of the İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, the testimonies of the witnesses have been taken by multiple prosecutors.
The testimonies of 23 workers of the consulate were taken as witnesses as part of the investigation on October 19, 2018.
As reported by Anadolu Agency, the witnesses who gave their depositions today stated that "it was not the case that the employees of the consulate were given time off on the day of incident and they left the consulate at the usual close of business day (3.30 p.m.)".
The whereabouts of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was a citizen of Saudi Arabia, had not been known as of October 2 at around 1 p.m., when he was last seen while entering the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in İstanbul.
One of the allegations reported in the news was that the workers of the consulate were given time off and sent to their houses on the day, when the journalist entered the consulate.
One of the witnesses, who stated that he has been working as a driver at the consulate, spoke to journalists after giving his deposition.
The witness said that the prosecutor asked them questions regarding "whether something unusual happened in the consulate on the day of incident; whether they saw Jamal Khashoggi, who had come to the consulate before, and the other 15 people, who came to the consulate from outside; for how many years they have been working at the consulate; when their usual working day starts and ends; and where they are from".
The whereabouts of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been a columnist at Washington Post newspaper and a citizen of Saudi Arabia, has not been known since October 2, 2018 at 1 a.m., when he was last seen while entering the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in İstanbul.
Reuters news agency and journalists from Turkey as well as the Chair of Turkish-Arabic Media Association Turan Kışlakçı claimed that Khashoggi was killed and his body was taken out of the consulate.
Spokesperson of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Hami Aksoy announced that the officials in the General Consulate of Saudi Arabia accepted the request of Turkey to make an investigation at the consulate.
The İstanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office also assigned a deputy chief prosecutor and a chief public prosecutor to conduct the judicial processes in the investigation that has been launched by Turkey after the journalist, who has allegedly been killed, was reported to be missing.
On October 20, the official news agency of Saudi Arabia, SPA reported that according to the results of the investigation conducted by the Saudi Arabia Chief Public Prosecutor's Office, Khashoggi "started to argue with other citizens of Saudi Arabia in the Consulate General in İstanbul, the argument turned into a row and Khashoggi lost his life as a result of this commotion." (HK/SD)