Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Top U.S. diplomat in Saudi Arabia for talks over missing journalist

Top U.S. diplomat in Saudi Arabia for talks over missing journalist

Saudi Arabia previously called the allegation "baseless", but United States media reports suggest the Saudis may acknowledge Mr Khashoggi was killed there, perhaps as part of a botched interrogation.

The Associated Press (AP) was not immediately able to respond to the issue, and the Turkish government officials haven't commented on the media yet.

Investigators, wearing white crime-scene overalls and shoe covers, entered the Istanbul residence of the Saudi consul general, Mohammed al-Otaibi, who has returned to Riyadh.

CNN saw a cleaning crew enter the main consulate building on Monday before Turkish officials, including a forensics team, arrived to begin their investigation.

But he says the consequences for the Saudis "will have to be very severe" if they are found to have killed him.

Both the Turkish and Saudi governments are conducting separate investigations into Khashoggi's disappearance.

"We went inside all the rooms, without any exceptions".

"Rogue killers" could be to blame, Trump said after telephone talks on Monday with the king. "He had this guy murdered in a consulate in Turkey, and to expect me to ignore it, I feel used and abused". "We didn't dig the garden but searched it with dogs and took some samples".

Her spokesman Rupert Colville said: "We hope the lifting of immunity is absolute so they can investigate, in the consulate, the (consular) residence premise, the vehicles shown on TV footage". MEE understands that the Saudis were reluctant to let Turkish investigators use luminol equipment in their probe. The Saudis continued to deny they killed the writer, but there were indications the story could soon change. Several diplomatic cars were seen leaving the consulate for the house about an hour after Khashoggi stepped through the consulate's doors.

Until Monday, Riyadh had not allowed Turkish investigators to search the consulate, with reports both sides were at odds over the conditions.

"We did not send him out".

"I can never do business with Saudi Arabia again until we get this behind us", said Graham, R-S.C. However, they have not presented any evidence to corroborate their claim and say that video cameras at the consulate were not recording at the time.

US Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo was dispatched to Saudi Arabia by US President, Donal Trump [Saudi Arabia closest ally] and his in-law Jared Kushner to meet the Saudi King on the possible unravelling of the "vanishing" of Jamal Khashoggi from the Saudi Arabia Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Mr Khashoggi had been a vocal critic of the Saudi Arabia ruling royal family.

Pompeo is expected in Turkey on Wednesday for further consultations.

Noticeably absent from discussions was the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, about whom Khashoggi wrote critically for the Washington Post and whose rise to power prompted the writer to go into a self-imposed exile in the US.

Turkish officials have drip fed the media details of their investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance. Permission apparently came after a late Sunday-night call between King Salman and the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

"They promised accountability for each of those persons whom they determine as a result of their investigation deserves accountability", he said.

"Nothing happens in Saudi Arabia without MBS knowing it".

On Wednesday, President Trump said that the US asked Turkey for audio and video relating to Khashoggi "if it exists". After President Trump spoke with the Saudi king on Monday, the President floated the idea that "rogue killers" could be responsible for the journalist's death.

Such a line would help insulate MBS from the scandal.

Pompeo met King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh to discuss the incident, which has caused global outrage and brought renewed attention on the authoritarian kingdom's human rights record.

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