Pompeo: Saudis promise nobody exempt in missing journalist probe

Andrew Cummings
October 17, 2018

Khashoggi is feared killed after he entered the consulate and was never seen exiting.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and United States resident who became increasingly critical of powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Salman, has not been seen since he walked into the kingdom's Istanbul consulate to sort out marriage paperwork on October 2.

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

Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, went missing October 2 after walking into a Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for a marriage. CNN has reported that two sources have confirmed that Khashoggi's death "was the result of an interrogation [at the Saudi Consulate] that went wrong, one that was meant to lead to his abduction from Turkey".

"We hope this joint investigation will help in removing all speculations", Foreign Minister AH Mahmood Ali said replying to a question on Monday at a briefing ahead of Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's Saudi visit from Tuesday.

Trump earlier threatened "severe punishment" if it is proven that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate.

Trump sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Riyadh to meet with Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to discuss the case.

Al-Otaibi left Turkey on Tuesday afternoon, Turkish state media reported.

Interviewed by state-run Anadolu news agency, Turkish Interior Minister Suleyman Soylu refused to be drawn into commenting on what may have happened inside the consulate.

The website of Ataturk International Airport showed a flight of flag-carrier Saudia took off for Riyadh at 1400 GMT.

Saudi Arabia is one of the closest U.S. partners in a bid to undermine Iran and also a massive client of the USA weapons industry.

He offered his assessment after talks with the Saudi leadership and said the Crown Prince denied any knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Trump tweeted that the Saudi Crown Prince "told me that he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter".

Pompeo was dispatched by Trump to Riyadh and Turkey over the Khashoggi case.

TRT World's Jon Brain reports.

Pro-government newspaper Sabah reported at the weekend that Khashoggi's Apple Watch recorded his interrogation, torture and killing, although some experts have said it is not likely that the watch could have recorded the events in the manner described. He's the son of the existing king. Executives from companies such as Ford, Uber and JPMorgan Chase also have also pulled out of Saudi Arabia's premier Future Investment Initiative Conference.

Turkish sources allege that Khashoggi was lured into the consulate and murdered, then dismembered. "But I do think it's a mistake, and it can be frankly a self-serving mistake, to think that a private conversation is always an equally effective substitute to taking a public stand", Freeland said.

According to Yeni Safak, Saudi Arabia's consul to Istanbul, Mohammed al-Otaibi, can be heard on one tape saying during Khashoggi's torture: "Do this outside".

"This guy has got to go", Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox. Saudi Arabia, if you're listening.

MBS, who has enjoyed a close relationship with the Trump administration, has painted himself as the face of a new, vibrant Saudi Arabia, diversifying its economy away from reliance on oil and making some social changes.

The diplomatic crisis has deepened in recent days and more details have emerged surrounding Khashoggi's disappearance.

A Turkish forensic works in the Saudi consulate.

Khashoggi had been anxious that the Saudi government wanted him dead, The New Yorker's Robin Wright wrote last week.

CNN reporters covering the meeting say it lasted no longer than 15 minutes.

He said that while King Salman is revered in Saudi Arabia, the crown prince "is pulling the levers there".

Other reports by iNewsToday