Probing potential link to Khashoggi murder: Turkey arrests two suspected UAE spies

Turkey arrests two suspected UAE spies

Jamal Khashoggi looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama

Turkey is investigating whether there may be links to the murder past year of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate, a senior Turkish official told Reuters.

Turkish law enforcement have arrested two spies who have allegedly confessed to working for the United Arab Emirates, reported worldwide media.

But analysts said that Ankara's probe Emiratis suspects' link to Khashoggi's murder was aimed at drawing Turks' attention from Turkey's economic and political woes.

The arrests were made on Monday as part of a counter-intelligence operation, a senior Turkish official said.

Relations between Turkey and the UAE recently entered a downward spiral.

"We are investigating whether the primary individual's arrival in Turkey was related to the Jamal Khashoggi murder", the Turkish official told Reuters, adding: "It is possible that there was an attempt to collect information about Arabs, including political dissidents, living in Turkey".

After first denying the murder, Saudi Arabia later said rogue agents had carried out the operation.

"They also confessed to have been employed by the UAE's intelligence services".

In this grab taken from video on Friday, April 19, 2019. provided by Turkey's state-run news agency, two alleged intelligence officers from the United Arab Emirates, walk in Istanbul.

The Sabah newspaper has reported that one suspect had been in constant contact with a person connected with Khashoggi's murder.

It has refused to extradite its citizens to Turkey after the country issued arrest warrants for several Saudi officials.

Paris City Hall is set to name one of the city's streets after a Saudi journalist, who was killed in Istanbul past year.

Khashoggi, a contributing columnist for The Washington Post, had focused his criticism on Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

The Saudi public prosecutor has indicted 11 unidentified suspects, including five who could face the death penalty on charges of ordering and committing the crime. Turkish police said that Khashoggi's remains might have been dissolved in acid and poured down the drain of the Saudi consulate.

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