Saudis Preparing to Admit Journalist Killed By Mistake During Interrogation

Daniel Fowler
October 17, 2018

Turkey may interrogate officials at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul if the need arises, the foreign minister said on Tuesday.

A Turkish security source said the search of the consulate provided "strong evidence" but no conclusive proof that Khashoggi was killed there.

Mr Khashoggi was once an adviser to the Saudi royal family but fell out of favour with the Saudi government and went into self-imposed exile.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Saudi Arabia after being dispatched by President Trump to meet with members of the royal court amid growing worldwide tension over the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Pompeo's visit to Riyadh came hours after Turkish crime scene investigators finished an inspection of the Saudi consulate.

Turkish investigators conducted a nine-hour search at the consulate on Tuesday.

Graham said he is going to propose that the Senate "sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia" over Khashoggi's murder, arguing bin Salman has put President Trump and other USA lawmakers "in a box" after the president sought friendly relations.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) told "Fox & Friends" on Tuesday that he'll never work with Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman because he's a "wrecking ball".

"Just spoke with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia who totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate", Trump wrote on Twitter.

The president declined to weigh in, once again, on the believability of the claims that Turkey says are bogus.

The screaming stopped when Khashoggi - who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate on 2 October - was injected with an as yet unknown substance.

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U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo shakes hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, on Tuesday.

"We are strong and old allies", the crown prince told Pompeo before reporters were ushered out.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met the Saudi king and crown prince on Tuesday to discuss the disappearance of Khashoggi.

Graham told host Brian Kilmeade that he won't be "going back to Saudi Arabia as long as this guy is in charge". The statement would be issued only after Saudi Arabia reached an agreement with Turkey on how to proceed with the investigation, the person said.

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". However, U.S. news reports said Saudi Arabia was edging toward acknowledging that Khashoggi was killed after he entered the consulate, blaming his death on an interrogation gone wrong.

Meanwhile, UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called for the immediate and "absolute" lifting of diplomatic immunity enjoyed by any officials or premises in the Khashoggi investigation.

Turkish authorities have an audio recording indicating that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, Turkish sources have told Reuters.

Bachelet stopped short of calling for an global investigation.

Saudi-friendly sources repeatedly claimed that Khashoggi left the consulate on 2 October and that it was up to Turkey to locate him.

At least a dozen officials arrived in unmarked police cars at 6pm local time and mingled outside the building before filing inside. "Who knows?" the president said, describing the situation as "terrible".

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