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Jubeir's contention that the Saudi government did not know precisely what happened to Khashoggi in the consulate - after the kingdom had previously announced that he was killed in a fistfight - was the latest in a series of shifting explanations by Saudi officials since Khashoggi disappeared.

One vehicle visited the Belgrad Forest, a large forest area on the outskirts of Istanbul, while the other vehicle went to the city of Yalova, an hour's drive from the consulate.

Both the consulate and the residence of the Saudi consul have been searched too.

For his part, Salah Jamal Khashoggi thanked the crown prince for his condolences.

WAN-IFRA, in which The Globe and Mail is a member, condemned the "growing culture of impunity for crimes against journalists"; the Saudi officials presumably believed they would be protected by this.

Saudi Arabia has been under pressure to explain what happened, having first said Mr Khashoggi was alive.

However, the new narrative - that Khashoggi was accidentally strangled after a brawl erupted between him and officials inside the consulate - was greeted with scepticism and condemnation from the global community.

The latest account, provided by a Saudi official who requested anonymity, includes details on how the team of 15 Saudi nationals sent to confront Mr Khashoggi on Oct 2 had threatened him with being drugged and kidnapped, then killed him in a chokehold when he resisted.

Turkish sources say the authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting Mr Khashoggi's murder inside the consulate but have not released it.

But critics believe the complex scheme that led to Khashoggi's death could not have occurred without the knowledge of Mohammed bin Salman, the country's powerful 33-year-old crown prince.

US President Donald Trump said on Saturday he is not satisfied with Saudi Arabia's handling of Mr Khashoggi's death and said questions remain unanswered.

"But Saturday, in an interview with The Washington Post, Trump said, "Obviously there's been deception and there's been lies".

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he will make statements about the murdered journalist during his party's parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday. Why were 18 people arrested?

According to a statement by the presidential press office, Erdogan and Trump agreed on the Khashoggi case need to be cleared up with all aspects. Trump emphasised as he has before how important the US-Saudi relationship is to Washington's regional strategic goals.

"He was killed in the consulate".

The UK, France and Germany said on Sunday that Saudi Arabia's version of Khashoggi's death needs to be supported by "facts" to be considered "credible".