Jeremy Hunt demands answers over missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi

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The Saudi crown prince earlier denied in an interview with Bloomberg that the journalist had been inside the consulate and said Turkish authorities could search the building. Friends and officials have blamed Riyadh for the dissident journalist's disappearance and alleged murder.

In a statement sent to journalists Monday, Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to Washington, said that reports the kingdom had detained or killed Khashoggi were "absolutely false and baseless".

Two days before entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey, Jamal Khashoggi appeared at Middle East Monitor's conference on the legacy of the Oslo Accords in London. Khashoggi was last seen entering the consulate on Tuesday last week.

The search will take place as part of the official investigation, which was being conducted "in an intense manner", he said without giving any date. A search would be an extraordinary development, as embassies and consulates under the Vienna Convention are technically foreign soil and must be protected by host nations. The longer the crisis continues, the more biased Al-Jazeera gets, he said. "Such an assassination within the grounds of the Consulate, which is territory under Saudi Arabian jurisdiction, would amount to an extrajudicial execution", said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International's Mideast research director. He also reiterated that Khashoggi had left the building. The Turkish newspaper Hurriyet also published the image.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia on October 9 invited Turkish experts and relevant officials to visit its Istanbul consulate.

A Qatari academic in Qatar University said some media persons who give lectures about journalistic ethics have been exposed to be the most reckless. Security camera footage shows boxes being loaded into the van, which carried diplomatic number plates.

Mr Khashoggi was a regular contributor to The Post, and colleagues there have said he often expressed concern for his safety because of his writing.

Turkish officials told Reuters at the weekend they believed he had been killed inside the Saudi consulate.

"If the story that was told about the murder is true, the Turks must have information and videotape and other documents to back it up", Fred Hiatt, the Post's editorial page editor, told The Associated Press. The officials have so far provided no evidence or details on how they arrived at this conclusion.

Hiatt added that the "idea of a government luring one of its own citizens onto its own diplomatic property in a foreign country to murder him for the peaceful expression of his views would be unimaginable".

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"This is a horrific escalation in the crown prince's campaign to silence dissent, to silence any criticism, even the mildest of criticism, from Saudis at home or overseas", says columnist for The Intercept Mehdi Hasan, who is also host of "UpFront" at Al Jazeera English, where he interviewed Khashoggi earlier this year.

Underscoring that Saudi Arabia is going through a "serious transformation" with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, he quoted an English king: "What affects the people must be discussed by the people".

"I have raised Jamal's disappearance personally with the Saudi ambassador, and while we await more information, know we will respond accordingly to any state that targets journalists overseas", he wrote.

He has been critical of some policies of the crown prince and Riyadh's intervention in the war in Yemen.

The Turks are furious at this and, if it is true that the Saudis performed an assassination of a journalist on Turkish soil, then they expect to treat it as a major worldwide incident. "The consulate officials can not save themselves by simply saying "he has left", Erdogan told a news conference in Budapest, where he is on an official visit.

"Do you not have cameras and everything of the sort?" "Why don't you prove it, you have to prove it".

Prince Turki later became the Saudi Ambassador to the United Kingdom and the U.S., exposing Khashoggi to numerous roles of critical importance.

Mr Trump's position is in line with the State Department whose spokeswoman Heather Nauert reiterated on Monday that the United States is "not in a position to confirm these reports, but we are closely following the situation".

"See when I hear arrest of a friend who did nothing that is worth to be arrested, make me feel I shouldn't go".