French finance minister cancels trip to Saudi conference

Daniel Fowler
October 18, 2018

Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gul called on the public to ignore any information that had been leaked in the missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's case, Al-Arabiya English reported Thursday.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin on Thursday said he would no longer attend next week's investment conference in Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In a sorrowful note atop the column, Khashoggi's editor explained why the Post chose to publish the column Wednesday, almost three weeks after his disappearance.

"As far as I know, the journalist that disappeared lived in the US. Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen", Attiah wrote Wednesday.

"The Post held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us so that he and I could edit it together".

On Wednesday and Thursday, Turkish investigators spent nearly nine hours searching the Saudi consul's residence, before moving on to the consulate itself about 200m away, according to Reuters news agency.

"There seems to be clear evidence that Khashoggi entered the Consulate and has never been seen since, the onus is on the Saudi authorities to reveal what happened to him from that point onwards", she said.

It is suspected that the Washington Post columnist, who was critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed while visiting the Gulf kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

Kuwaiti and Turkish army officials signed an agreement in Kuwait City on October 10
Kuwaiti and Turkish army officials signed an agreement in Kuwait City on October 10

Saudi Arabia insists Khashoggi exited the consulate after a brief visit.

Confirming that the tape said to provide evidence of the killing had been requested, Mr Trump added: "I'm not sure yet that it exists, probably does, possibly does".

He said he had been assured that Saudi Arabia would investigate the matter, and that he had told Mr Trump to give the country "a few more days" before deciding whether to take action.

The president was forced to address the issue again on Wednesday after his previous comments sparked backlash and questions about his ties to Saudi Arabia.

Asked if the USA would be willing to walk away from Saudi Arabia, Trump said: "I do not want to do that and frankly they have a tremendous order, $110 billion", referring to a promised USA arms sales to the kingdom.

Khashoggi, a critic of the current Saudi regime, was apparently tortured to death and dismembered in the building, having attended to obtain a divorce certificate.

Saudi Consul Mohammad al-Otaibi returned to Saudi Arabia on Oct. 16 before his residence in Istanbul was searched by police for more than eight hours on Oct. 17 and Oct. 18. He was allegedly killed during an interrogation inside the consulate, media outlets have reported.

The New York Times reports that four of the 15 agents have links to Crown Prince Mohammed, while another is a senior figure in the country's interior ministry. He also confirmed that all members of his family support the official Saudi investigations, which only "will lead us to positive results and uncover the truth".

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