Trump says 'rogue killers' may be behind Saudi journalist's disappearance

Marco Green
October 16, 2018

Saudi Arabia is now at the center of an global controversy over the suspected death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi-born US permanent resident who disappeared on October 2 after visiting the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

The heads of JPMorgan Chase and the asset management giants BlackRock and Blackstone Group dropped out of the conference amid reports that Saudi agents killed dissident journalist and Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi.

Hariri hailed Saudi Arabia as one of the "central countries entrusted with the stability of the region", and said anti-Saudi campaigns were being used to destabilize the region.

The Washington Post, to which Khashoggi contributed as a columnist, has said the Turkish government had told United States officials it had audio and video recordings showing how Khashoggi was "interrogated, tortured and then murdered" by a 15-member Saudi security team inside the consulate before his body was dismembered.

US President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that he was aware of the report but did not know if it was correct.

Also starting to attract wider attention, Saudi Arabia doubled down on pressure from the West on the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post columnist.

Khashoggi vanished after entering a Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, igniting a global firestorm over the circumstances of his disappearance.

Khashoggi has been missing since he stepped inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Journalist work in front of the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Trump quoted the King on Monday as saying that neither he nor his son, the crown prince, had any information about what had happened to Khashoggi.

"I think one of the strong things that we can do is not only stop military sales, not only put sanctions on Saudi Arabia, but most importantly, get out of this bad, awful war in Yemen led by the Saudis", Sen.

Mr Trump previously warned of "severe punishment" against Saudi Arabia if Mr Khashoggi was killed in the embassy.

Previously, Saudi authorities had maintained Khashoggi left the consulate the same afternoon of his visit, but provided no evidence to support the claim.

"The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats and attempts to undermine it, whether by threatening to impose economic sanctions, using political pressures or repeating false accusations", said the statement, carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

"And princesses, fleeing Saudi Arabia", Alhadj said.

"Pelosi also cited Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin's planned trip to a financial conference in Riyadh, despite many having pulled out, and added, "[Trump's] relationship with Saudi Arabia is something".

"We can confirm. that Jamie will not be attending the Saudi event", a JP Morgan spokesperson said in an email to the BBC on Monday.

The issue has strained Saudi Arabia's ties with its closest Western allies.

A Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade spokesman confirmed Australia's ambassador to Saudi Arabia and Austrade's general manager for the Middle East would attend.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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