The killers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi poured his remains down the drain after dissolving him in acid, a Turkish newspaper reported on Saturday.
Samples taken from the drains at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul showed traces of acid, pro-government daily Sabah said, without quoting sources.
This led investigators to believe the dead body of the insider-turned-critic of the Riyadh regime was disposed of through the drains as liquid, the paper said.
Khashoggi was last seen entering the consulate on October 2 to obtain documents for his forthcoming marriage. His body has never been found.
After repeated denials, Saudi Arabia finally admitted the then 59-year-old had been murdered at the mission in a “rogue” operation.
However, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused the “highest levels” of the Saudi government of ordering the hit, while some officials have pointed the finger at the all-powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu also said the 15-man Saudi “hit squad” alleged to have flown to Turkey to assassinate Khashoggi must have been acting on orders.
Yasin Aktay, an advisor to Erdogan, suggested last week the body may have been dissolved in acid and on Monday, a Turkish official said Saudi Arabia sent two experts to Istanbul with the specific aim of covering up evidence after the murder.
The reports came after Khashoggi’s sons appealed for Saudi authorities to recover their father’s body so that he could be buried in the holy city of Medina.
“All what we want right now is to bury him in al-Baqi [cemetery] within Medina with the rest of his family,” Salah Khashoggi said.
Khashoggi’s Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz took to Twitter on Thursday writing, “I’m unable to express my sorrow to hear about dissolving your body Jamal!”
“They killed you and chopped up your body, depriving me and your family of conducting your funeral prayer and burying you in Medina as wished.”
A Turkish official this week confirmed a Sabah report that chemicals expert Ahmad Abdulaziz al-Janobi and toxicology expert Khaled Yahya al-Zahrani were among a team sent from Saudi amid investigations into the murder.
The paper said they visited the consulate every day from their arrival on October 11 until October 17. Saudi Arabia only allowed Turkish police to search the building on October 15.