Interrogation gone wrong, rogue killers: What happened to Saudi journalist?

Anna Jefferson
October 16, 2018

Turkish police entered the building on Monday for the first time since Khashoggi, a Saudi national and U.S. resident who became increasingly critical of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, went missing.

Speaking on Monday, Donald Trump said the Saudi leader King Salman denied "any knowledge of whatever may have happened" during a phone call.

Until now, Riyadh has not allowed Turkish investigators to search the consulate - officially Saudi territory - with reports both sides were at odds over the conditions.

Mr Khashoggi's fate has troubled Washington and Saudi Arabia's other traditional Western allies.

Just before Google confirmed that Greene would not attend, CNN reported that the Saudi government is preparing to acknowledge its role in his disappearance but will claim that his death was "the result of an interrogation that went wrong".

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"It has been 13 days since the event, so surely proving some of the evidence might be difficult" the Turkish official said.

Saudi Arabia had on Saturday dismissed accusations that Khashoggi was ordered murdered by a hit squad inside its Istanbul consulate, labelling it as "lies and baseless allegations". However, after a telephone conversation with King Salman, US President noted that "rogue killers" could be behind the Washington Post journalist's disappearance and suspected murder. Turkey's private DHA news agency said the Saudi consul's office was among the rooms searched.

Reports suggest an assault and struggle took place in the consulate after Mr Khashoggi went to get paperwork for his forthcoming marriage.

Within five days of Khashoggi's October 2 disappearance, Turkish security officials claimed anonymously that they had obtained evidence that the journalist was killed inside the consulate.

The Saudi Arabia's consulate is cordoned off by Turkish police in Istanbul. But then, if they cared about such realities, the USA would have cut off support to the Saudi war in Yemen years ago.

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He said the developments show that the United States "will definitely not be able to cut Iran's oil exports to zero" - the goal set by USA officials - when sanctions targeting the oil sector go into effect on November 5.

Germany, Britain and France issued a joint statement over the weekend expressing "grave concern", calling for a credible investigation to ensure those responsible for the disappearance "are held to account".

The Saudi riyal, rebounded early after falling to its lowest in two years over fears that foreign investment could shrink.

He had been critical of Prince Mohammed, who has cracked down on dissent with arrests. After shedding about 7 per cent on Sunday, the market rebounded at the end of trading the following day up 4.1 per cent. Most experts say that probably won't happen.

Khashoggi moved to Washington after Crown Prince Mohammed began a kingdomwide anti-corruption crackdown, including efforts to silence dissidents. Pointing out that Russia and China were ready to step in, he added that "no one can deny that repercussions of these sanctions will include a Russian military base in Tabuk, northwest of Saudi Arabia, in the heated four corners of Syria, Israel, Lebanon and Iraq".

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Concern over Khashoggi's disappearance has prompted media organizations and a growing number of guests to pull out of a "Davos in the Desert" investment conference set for October 23-25, which has become the biggest show for investors to promote Prince Mohammed's reform vision.

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