TEHRAN (Press Shia) – A source at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul denied on Sunday recent reports which cited Turkish sources as saying they believed Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate building.

In a statement, the source said the accusations were baseless, adding that a security team including Saudi investigators had arrived in Istanbul on Saturday to take part in the investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance, Reuters reported.

Two Turkish sources said on Saturday that they believed that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. One source told Reuters that elements in the Saudi consulate had planned Khashoggi’s murder in the facility and when they killed the journalist, they moved the body outside. 

“The initial assessment of the Turkish police is that Mr. Khashoggi has been killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul. We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate,” said the sources, without elaborating.

A Turkish security source also told Reuters on Saturday that a group of 15 Saudi nationals, including some officials, arrived in Turkey onboard two planes on the same day of Khashoggi’s disappearance.

The source said the team was at the consulate that same day and later left Turkey for Saudi Arabia.

Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency also said in a report that the 15 Saudi nationals had been at the consulate for a brief period last Tuesday.

Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of the Saudi government, had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since 2017, when Saudi authorities launched a massive crackdown on dissent. He was seeking to secure documentation for his forthcoming marriage when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His fiancée waited outside the consulate for hours without hearing from him.