Saudi journalist Khashoggi decapitated after fingers cut off

Andrew Cummings
October 17, 2018

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and U.S. 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.

"Been hearing the ridiculous "rogue killers" theory was where the Saudis would go with this", Democratic US Senator Chris Murphy said on Twitter.

Trump called Khashoggi's disappearance a "terrible situation".

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier Tuesday said Turkish investigators were looking into "toxic" and "painted over material" as part of their inquiry.

U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he does not want to walk away from Saudi Arabia despite concerns about a missing Saudi journalist, as pressure mounted on the kingdom to answer Turkish allegations he was killed in Istanbul.

"We are strong and old allies".

But he refused to say whether he thought Khashoggi was alive or dead or who could be responsible.

After his talks in Riyadh on Tuesday, Pompeo was expected in Turkey today to meet Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

The Washington Post, where Khashoggi was a columnist, first obtained the scans.

The report said that the Saudi government was preparing to say Jamal Khashoggi died during an interrogation that went wrong.

"Two weeks is a very long time for the probable scene of a crime not to have been subjected to a full forensic investigation", Ms Bachelet said.

Gardiner says Iran, a regional rival to Saudi Arabia, comes into play as well.

The Khashoggi family in Saudi Arabia issued a statement calling for an "independent and impartial global commission".

Mr Pompeo thanked the king for his "commitment to a thorough, transparent investigation", state department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

Bachelet stopped short of calling for an global investigation.

Prominent U.S. newspapers have reported, citing anonymous sources, that Saudi officials may soon acknowledge Khashoggi's slaying at the consulate but blame it on a botched intelligence operation.

USA lawmakers have been demanding scrapping of the United States dollars 110 billion mega defence deal with Riyadh, whereas heads of several companies, CEOs, newspapers have announced not to attend an upcoming finance conference in Saudi Arabia.

Trump dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet King Salman over the case that has strained the Americans' relationship with the Saudis, carefully cultivated by the USA president.

Searching another country's consulate - which is considered foreign soil under the Vienna Convention - is an extraordinary measure which reflects the gravity of the diplomatic crisis.

Turkish investigative agencies have said that he was brutally killed inside the consulate.

"I heard that report, but nobody knows if it's an official report", Trump told reporters, without elaborating.

He added: "It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers".

Protection from national jurisdictions is bestowed on consular premises and officials by treaties such as the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. "So far, it's just a rumour of a report coming out". He said Saudi Arabia originally pledged its contribution in August, and USA officials were expecting to receive it by the fall.

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