Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who went missing after visiting his country's consulate in Istanbul was spirited on a private jet to Saudi Arabia, held captive and may still be alive there, a source close to the kingdom's royal family has claimed to Britain's DailyMail.com.
Turkey said today it will search the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul as it investigates why journalist Mr Khashoggi vanished there a week ago, as Turkish officials fear the writer was killed inside the building.
That Saudi Arabia would allow foreigners to enter a consulate and search it shows the growing international pressure the kingdom faces over the disappearance of Mr Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Arabia and contributor to the Washington Post.
But now the Daily Mail reports it's been told by a source close to the Saudi royal family Mr Khashoggi was taken from the consulate in a black Mercedes S-500 and a white minivan with four Saudi officials to Istanbul airport.
He was was flown to Dubai and then Riyadh, where he is now being held.
Flight records reportedly show that a Gulf Stream IV private jet, tail number HZ-SK2, landed in Istanbul at 3am on October 2, the day Mr Khashoggi disappeared.
The source said they were told Mr Khashoggi is still alive, contradicting the claims he was murdered in the Istanbul consulate.
DailyMail.com said this different version of events could not be independently verified.
Mr Khashoggi had gone to the consulate to collect divorce papers relating to his previous marriage, leaving his fiancee with his Saudi phone on the street outside.
He had walked in to the building with his T-Mobile US cellphone, which he had used to contact his confidential sources.
DailyMail.com said a friend of the journalist revealed that Mr Khashoggi’s encrypted messages had been read after he vanished.
The news outlet published a CCTV photo said to show him walking in, but never walked back out.
The Saudis have called allegations of any involvement in his disappearance "baseless," but had no immediate comment on Turkey's announcement that it will search the consulate. It remains unclear when the search will take place.
US President Donald Trump and European leaders all have called on Riyadh to explain what happened to the 59-year-old journalist.
So far, the kingdom has offered no evidence in the past seven days to show that Mr Khashoggi ever left the building, as the new surveillance photo surfaced showed him walking in its main entrance.