Turkish official: Police found evidence of Khashoggi slaying

Elias Hubbard
October 19, 2018

Meanwhile, the Saudi consul-general Mohammad al-Otaibi left Istanbul for Riyadh on a scheduled flight, as Turkish investigators were poised to search his residence.

During the initial consulate search, CNN reported on Monday that Saudi Arabia was preparing to acknowledge Khashoggi's death in a botched interrogation, after denying for two weeks any role in his disappearance.

A Saudi delegation reportedly had entered the consulate one hour before the Turkish police arrived and appeared still to be inside as the search was conducted.

Khashoggi has been missing since last Tuesday when he entered the Saudi consulate in Turkey to obtain paperwork so he can remarry.

A Turkish official and a security source told Reuters on Monday that the authorities have an audio recording indicating that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, without providing further details.

Saudi Arabia previously called the allegation "baseless", but United States media reports suggest the Saudis may acknowledge Mr Khashoggi was killed there, perhaps as part of a botched interrogation.

On Oct. 2, Khashoggi went to the consulate general of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul for some documents.

What evidence Turkish officials could gather at the consulate remained unknown.

Surveillance footage leaked in Turkish media shows vehicles moving between the consulate and the consul's home after Khashoggi's disappearance.

"It just didn't seem like a situation that we would want to get into", said the actor, who was at the Defense Department to speak about his experience in making the new Navy submarine attack movie "Hunter Killer".

Riyadh, Oct 16 U.S. top diplomat Mike Pompeo met Tuesday with Saudi King Salman and the crown prince seeking to defuse a crisis over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, with American officials saying Riyadh had agreed the need for a "thorough" probe.

Some police were in uniform while other officials were in suits carrying printers and files, an AFP correspondent said.

Congress "will act" in a way that will likely alter the US-Saudi relationship for the foreseeable future, Rubio asserted.

Mr Pompeo is also expected to meet Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman during his day in Riyadh.

Pompeo addressed reporters Thursday after briefing President Trump at the White House on his talks with leaders in Saudi Arabia and Turkey.

White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow declined to speculate on what Trump might do after the president promised "severe punishment" in a "60 Minutes" interview, if the US determines that Khashoggi was indeed killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Khashoggi worked closely on media initiatives with Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, the billionaire businessman detained in the November roundup of dozens of influential business executives and ruling-family members by MBS.

Prince Mohammed said during the meeting on Tuesday: "We are strong and old allies".

TRT World's Francis Collings has more from outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Britain, France and Germany also released a rare joint statement saying they were treating Khashoggi's disappearance "with the utmost seriousness" and calling for a "credible investigation".

Sources have told MEE that Khashoggi was tortured, murdered and dismembered after he entered the consulate on 2 October.

During his meeting with Pompeo, MBS reiterated the USA and Saudi Arabia's close ties, while America's top diplomat expressed concern over Khashoggi's fate.

Pompeo thanked Prince Mohammed for hosting him.

On Monday, however, Trump offered a different theory after speaking by telephone with King Salman.

Saudi officials have not answered repeated requests for comment over recent days from the AP.

Trump had previously warned of "severe punishment" for the kingdom if it was found to be involved in Khashoggi's disappearance, which has spooked investors. On Sunday, the oil-rich kingdom suggested retaliation if the US were to impose strict measures.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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