Evidence indicates Khashoggi killed at Saudi consulate, Pompeo is in Ankara

Adjust Comment Print

As lawmakers, including key Trump Republican allies amplified their call for a strong and swift response - including imposing sanctions and halting arms sales to the country - Trump repeatedly defended the Saudi line. "We face our challenges together", the crown prince told Pompeo in the palace decked out with imposing chandeliers and gold-plated furniture, to which Pompeo said, "Absolutely".

USA secretary of state Mike Pompeo is in Turkey for talks following a meeting with the Saudi king and the crown prince on Tuesday.

A Turkish Foreign Ministry official says Turkish authorities will search the residence of the top Saudi diplomat in Istanbul over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance.

Pompeo will fly to Ankara, Turkey, on Wednesday to meet with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert said.

Mr Khashoggi, who has written for the Washington Post and is a USA resident, arrived at the consulate at 13:14 local time on 2 October to obtain paperwork so he could marry his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

More news: Saudi Arabia probing Jamal Khashoggi disappearance: Donald Trump

"The government of Saudi Arabia owes the Khashoggi family and the world a full and honest explanation of everything that happened to him, and we support the requests from Jama's family and the United Nations for an independent global investigation". Investigators said the search will take place Wednesday, according to state broadcaster TRT.

The Trump administration has been pulled into the outcry over Khashoggi, in part because The Washington Post columnist has been living in Virginia.

The report by Yeni Safak adds to the ever-increasing pressure on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Khashoggi, who vanished October 2 while visiting the consulate to pick up paperwork he needed to get married.

So far the Saudis have denied any involvement, but the New York Times is reporting they may admit the journalist died in an interrogation that went too far, pointing the finger at an overzealous intelligence official.

Up until this point, Saudi officials have strongly denied accusations that Khashoggi was murdered, saying instead he left the diplomatic outpost on his own. Saudi Arabia is one of the closest United States partners in a bid to undermine Iran and also a massive client of the U.S. weapons industry.

More news: CDC Investigates Cases Of Rare Neurological 'Mystery Illness' In Kids

Khashoggi disappeared two weeks ago on a visit to the consulate.

"This is not rogue killers", Graham said on Fox News radio. "Here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent". The newspaper said Turkish officials have shared evidence, including details of an audio recording, with both Saudi and USA officials.

"However, there are some findings and they are being worked on", he said, adding that painting may have damaged some evidence.

"Nothing happens in Saudi Arabia without MBS knowing about it", Graham said, using the acronym for the presumed heir-apparent to the Saudi throne.

A team of Turkish police spent more than nine hours in the consulate on October 15 and October 16 and the Associated Press reported that they found "certain evidence" about the killing of the prominent Saudi dissident.

More news: NBC Issues Correction Over Trump’s Robert E Lee Comments

On Tuesday, Turkish media reported that Saudi Arabia's consul to Istanbul, Mohammed al-Otaibi, had returned to Riyadh as Turkish authorities prepare to search his residence. He said Saudi Arabia originally pledged its contribution in August, and USA officials were expecting to receive it by the fall.