Suspects in Saudi journalist case tied to top prince

Elias Hubbard
October 18, 2018

President Trump has asked Turkey to hand over any audio and video recordings it holds of the alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as it emerged that Mike Pompeo, the U.S. secretary of state, left his meetings in Ankara yesterday empty-handed.

On Wednesday afternoon, Turkish investigators entered the Saudi consul's residence, about 200m (650ft) from the consulate. The State Department denied any connection between the payment and Pompeo's discussions with Saudi officials about Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributing columnist.

Turkish authorities say Khashoggi was killed October 2 during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a document required to get married.

Trump said on Wednesday he was waiting for a full report on what had happened to Khashoggi from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, whom he sent to Saudi Arabia and Turkey to meet officials over Khashoggi's disappearance. Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who lived in the U.S., disappeared on October 2 after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to complete paperwork related to his divorce.

Khashoggi wrote the "ripe" hope of future freedoms felt by many during the Arab Spring of 2011, which saw popular uprisings throughout the Middle East, had been "shattered".

"This guy has got to go", said Sen.

Turkish newspapers and other media outlets have claimed Khashoggi was murdered by being gradually dismembered by a Saudi assassination squad, some of whom the New York Times said had links to the crown prince.

Khashoggi called for the creation of an "independent global forum" to allow ordinary people in the Arab world to address "the structural problems" their societies face.

Mr Khashoggi first began writing for the Post's opinion section in September 2017, and his columns criticised the prince and the direction of the Saudi kingdom.

Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who fled for the USA amid the rise of the crown prince, praised Tunisia as the only "free" nation in the Arab world and Jordan, Morocco and Kuwait as "partly free".

Pro-government Turkish daily Yeni Safak reported it had heard audio recordings of Khashoggi being tortured during an interrogation, having his fingers cut off and then being decapitated. The Saudi government has denied any involvement.

"Here we go again with you're guilty until proven innocent", Mr Trump said.

As a young reporter, he traveled to Afghanistan to interview Osama bin Laden, who at the time was among CIA-backed militants fighting the Soviet Union.

Riyadh insists that he left the consulate safely.

Reports suggest he was killed on the orders of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in retaliation for critical journalism in the Washington Post - a claim the Saudi regime denies.

"His voice and his ideas will reverberate, from Turkey to Saudi Arabia, and across the world", Cengiz added.

He also held high positions in the Interior Ministry and the kingdom's top medical school, the report said.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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