Khashoggi 'killed' and 'cut into pieces' at Saudi consulate

Marco Green
October 17, 2018

The close US ally is ruled entirely by the Al Saud monarchy, and all major decisions in the ultraconservative kingdom are made by the royal family. He said he has always been a staunch defender of Saudi Arabia on the Senate floor as a "good ally" of the United States. Trump appeared willing to resist the pressure to follow suit, accepting Saudi denials and their pledge to investigate.

Trump said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman "totally denied" knowledge of the journalist's disappearance in a Tuesday afternoon phone call. For two weeks, the kingdom either denied all knowledge of Khashoggi's death, or suggested the claims were the work of a Qatari-led conspiracy created to isolate Saudi Arabia and promote the Muslim Brotherhood.

A high-level Turkish official speaking to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak publicly about the investigation also said police have found "certain evidence" during their search of the Saudi Consulate showing that Khashoggi was killed there.

Much will depend in the critical next few days on how the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, handles the crisis.

A Turkish diplomatic source said the investigators planned to widen their search on Tuesday to the residence of the Saudi consul.

The president has sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to investigate the disappearance.

These passport scans add to the information made public by Turkey as it seeks to fill out the narrative of what happened to Khashoggi, a Post contributor who vanished after entering the consulate to obtain a document he needed for his upcoming wedding.

The remarks were a departure from what the president said during an interview with CBS' 60 Minutes last week, when he threatened the kingdom with "severe punishment" if it turned out that Khashoggi had been murdered.

In the meantime, there were signs at home that Trump's party was growing uncomfortable with his willingness to defend the Saudis.

Robert Mason, director of the Middle East Studies Centre at the American University in Cairo, said China would not want to get involved at this stage to avoid further tensions with the Trump administration. "There's a lot of good people you can choose, but MBS has tainted your country and tainted himself", Graham said.

"In each of those meetings I stressed the importance of them conducting a complete investigation into the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi".

The statement was unusual for a group that normally weighs in on global foreign policy issues and speaks generally about human rights abuses in other countries.

"I've been their biggest defender on the floor of the United States Senate", Graham said.

Khashoggi went to the consulate on October 2 to get documents for his upcoming marriage to a Turkish woman while his fiancee waited outside.

Turkish investigators began to search the consulate in Istanbul on Monday evening, but earlier in the day a cleaning crew was seen entering the consulate, according to The Washington Post.

CNN said that two sources had leaked the report, "which could change" and is "still being prepared". "Who knows? We're going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon".

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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