Saudi considers admitting Khashoggi died in botched op

Daniel Fowler
October 17, 2018

Mr Khashoggi, a United States resident and critic of the Saudi regime, has been missing since 2 October when he visited the Saudi embassy in Istanbul to obtain documents.

Earlier on Tuesday Police claimed to have found "certain evidence" that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, before the Saudi consul made a sudden departure from a Turkish airport.

Earlier, US media reported that the Turkish authorities had identified five suspects in the case of Khashoggi's vanishing, four of whom had ties to the Saudi government, including the crown prince.

The scans, obtained by NBC News from Turkish officials, show the photo-and-bio pages of seven Saudi passports that Turkish officials say belonged to seven of the 15 Saudis who arrived in Istanbul ahead of Khashoggi's disappearance. The statement would pin blame on intelligence officials rather than Saudi leaders, alleging that an interrogation attempt had gone wrong and Khashoggi, who is a USA resident and an opinion writer at the Washington Post, was killed without authorization.

Turkish officials spoke to several media outlets on Tuesday, claiming to have audio tapes that capture Saudi officials taking part in the gruesome torture-murder of Khashoggi. Trump has speculated without providing evidence that "rogue killers" could be responsible.

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

Manchester United sources insist the club is not for sale following speculation over a takeover bid by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

Pompeo will travel straight to Turkey to hold talks with his Turkish counterpart Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday, Ankara said in a statement.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Turkey's President and Foreign Minister on Wednesday to discuss the disappearance of a Saudi journalist as pressure mounted on the kingdom to provide answers following Turkish allegations he was killed.

Pompeo's emergency meeting comes after Middle East Eye revealed new details of Khashoggi's murder inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Monday evening.

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has been meeting King Salman in Riyadh.

Last night, a team of Turkish and Saudi officials entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for a joint inspection two weeks after Khashoggi went missing.

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

The newspaper said one of the Saudi "torturers" replied: "Shut up if you want to live when you return to (Saudi) Arabia".

"I heard that [CNN] report, but nobody knows if it's an official report", he said in Georgia.

Turkish sources say cars with diplomatic plates were seen driving between the consulate and the consul's residence on the day Mr Khashoggi was last seen.

"The consul's behaviour and approach drew reaction after Khashoggi disappeared", Cavusoglu said - criticising the way the consul behaved in a Reuter's tour of the consulate - "especially how he opened the cabinets saying "look he is not here" as if mocking people, behaving disrespectfully".

Jamal Khashoggi, 60, is feared to have been killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"I hope you are comfortable here", the king told Pompeo, according to the reporters.

While Pompeo was in his meetings in Saudi Arabia, Trump, in Washington, said on Twitter, "For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russian Federation, for that matter)".

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