Jamal Khashoggi: Saudi-Turkish team carry out consulate search

Cristina Cross
October 16, 2018

In statements after the call, both praised the creation of a joint Saudi-Turkish investigation.

Khashoggi's fate has troubled Washington and Saudi Arabia's other traditional Western allies. The incident has resulted in a global outrage and more so in the United States as he lived here as a legal permanent resident and worked for The Washington Post. "Think of that, $110 billion". Trump, after speaking on Monday with King Salman, said without offering evidence that the slaying could have been carried out by "rogue killers".

The president has sent US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet Saudi King Salman in a case that has strained White House ties with the Saudis.

The New York Times claims an unnamed source said the Saudi royal family's crown prince approved interrogation or rendition of the dissident Mr Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia. Turkish investigators said they "smelled chemicals had been used", two officials in contact with the investigators said, according to the paper.

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it", Trump told reporters Monday.

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Turkish officials have said they believe he was killed - a claim Saudi Arabia has denied - with the controversy dealing a huge blow to the kingdom's image and efforts by its youthful crown prince to showcase a reform drive. "Orders must have come from the top".

A congressional ban on arms sales to the kingdom could prompt Riyadh to "turn to Russia", he said, but added that Riyadh's current reliance on USA weapons systems would soon make it vulnerable because of "a serious problem of spare parts". "This is not leadership".

In this file photo taken on December 15, 2014, Jamal Khashoggi looks on during a press conference in the Bahraini capital Manama.

The affair has embarrassed President Donald Trump, who has made his personal relationship with the crown prince a pillar of his strategy in the Middle East, where his administration is seeking to rein in Iran with Saudi and Israeli support.

An acting chief prosecutor and a public prosecutor assigned by Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office carried out the probe at the consulate with Saudi officials.

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Senator Dick Durbin called for a strong response from the US.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said the kingdom is weighing whether to say that rogue operatives killed Khashoggi by mistake during an interrogation.

Richard LeBaron, a former U.S. ambassador to Saudi Arabia's neighbour Kuwait and a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council, said Riyadh had "various ways" of responding to punitive measures. "I emphasised that those responsible must be held to account. And if that is the case, I do not believe the U.S. should continue to be party to supporting the Saudis in the bloodshed in Yemen - a halt that is long overdue given the humanitarian disaster resulting from that conflict", Durbin said. Several organisations and individuals have announced that they will not attend the mega summit in Saudi Arabia as a mark of protest.

But the New York Times called that figure "wildly inflated and misleading", saying the package in question "essentially consisted of letters of intent or interest, not actual contracts". JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon, KKR executive David Petraeus and Ford Motor Chairman Bill Ford have also said that they will not attend the Saudi event.

"We're going to try get to the bottom of it very soon, but his was a flat denial", Mr Trump said.

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