“The chief prosecutor’s office believes this phone call was about disappearing or hiding the body parts of the murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the prosecutor said in a statement.
Fawzan was not in Turkey when Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate on October 2. He could not be reached for comment, and there is no suggestion that he knew the hit squad might try to hide the body at his property.
Turkish media reported that Fawzan is a millionaire close to the Saudi royal family, and images from the scene showed large photographs of Saudi Arabia’s King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hanging on a wall inside the villa.
Investigators focused on a well, which they drained to search inside. Drones and dogs were also used in the 10-hour search, which included a neighbouring property. It was not clear if the investigators found anything of significance.
Prosecutors said the man who called Fawzan was Mansour Othman Abahussain, who was previously identified as a Saudi intelligence officer.
He has been arrested by Saudi authorities along with other members of the hit squad.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said in a speech last month that members of the Saudi team travelled to Yalova one day before the killing in an apparent search for a spot to hide the body.
Meanwhile, Tunisian activists have called for protests during the crown prince’s visit to the country on Tuesday. The prince has been touring Arab countries and presenting a calm front despite international criticism sparked by Khashoggi’s murder.
A Tunisian journalists’ union hung a large banner from its headquarters showing the prince holding a chainsaw – a reference to the dismemberment of Khashoggi’s corpse.
Saudi Arabia has insisted that the prince was not involved in the killing but US senators have said they believe he was responsible.
Several Republican senators, including Lindsey Graham – a close ally of US President Donald Trump – are demanding that the CIA brief them on its assessment of the prince’s involvement.
The senators said they might push for congressional sanction, depending on what they learn in the briefing which has been set for Wednesday morning, US time. “We are not going to give an autocratic leader a pass,” Graham said.
Trump said last week that he was standing by Saudi Arabia.