Turkey “will never allow a cover-up” over the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a senior official in the country’s ruling party has said.
It comes after Saudi Arabia dramatically changed its story and claimed the journalist had died at its consulate in Istanbul after a fist fight spiralled out of control.
Numan Kurtulmus, deputy head of the Justice and Development Party, said a “conclusive result” of Turkey’s investigation was close and would be shared with the world.
There has been no word from Saudi authorities on what was done with Mr Khashoggi’s body.
The search for his remains is focused on a forest near Istanbul and the coastal city of Yalova, with officials saying they are looking at CCTV to trace the movements of vehicles that went in and out of the consulate on the day Mr Khashoggi disappeared.
An official Saudi statement said “discussions” with the 59-year-old “did not go as required and developed in a negative way, leading to a fight and a quarrel”.
It expressed “deep regret” and said “the brawl aggravated to lead to his death and their attempt to conceal and cover what happened”.
Authorities – including the crown prince – had previously said that Mr Khashoggi walked out of the consulate not long after his appointment on 2 October.
Eighteen Saudis have been arrested, according to Saudi Arabia’s statement, while two senior officials have also been sacked: deputy intelligence chief Ahmed El Assiri and royal court adviser Saud Al Qahtani.
Critics claim they are being used to deflect blame from the country’s de-facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, who is widely believed to tightly control all major decisions in the kingdom