Passport scans show Saudis accused by Turkey of killing writer Khashoggi

Irving Hamilton
October 17, 2018

The allegations have been strongly denied by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi King Salman in conversations with U.S. President Donald Trump.

Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator and confidant of the USA president, said he wanted to "sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia" and pointed the finger at its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman - known by his initials "MBS".

Following talks, Pompeo also said Saudi Arabia has made a "serious commitment" to hold senior leaders and officials accountable in the case of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Erdogan told journalists Tuesday that police sought traces of "toxic" materials and suggested parts of the consulate had been recently painted, without elaborating. "This guy is a wrecking ball".

Turkish crime scene investigators carried out a nine-hour search of the consulate on Monday night in an investigation to look into what happened to Khashoggi, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate on October 2.

But that has now been delayed because no Saudi official can be present for what has been billed as a joint investigation, Turkish officials say.

Istanbul believes he was murdered by Saudi agents as he entered the building, but Riyadh has denied this.

The Saudi consul left Turkey for the Saudi capital Riyadh Tuesday just hours after Turkish officials said they wanted to search his residence and the consulate's fleet of vehicles, Ankara's Foreign Ministry said. The secretary of state described the visit as "highly successful" and said the Saudis had promised to carry out a "thorough, complete and transparent investigation".

In this photo from February 1, 2015, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks at a press conference in Manama, Bahrain. "I don't want to talk about any of the facts". President Trump is also correct when he says thousands of United States jobs would be lost, with China and Russian Federation to be among those lining up to replace them.

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Saudi Arabia has responded to Western statements by saying it would retaliate against any pressure or economic sanctions "with greater action", and Arab allies rallied to support it.

No details have been released, but afterwards Mr Cavusoglu said they are hoping investigators will be able to gain access to the residence later on Wednesday. "I have strong opinions but that (the investigation) is the job of the judiciary", he said.

Freeland said she's been in regular contact with her Saudi counterpart, but she had nothing new to report on Tuesday.

Trump previously warned of "severe punishment" for the kingdom if it was found to be involved in Khashoggi's disappearance, which has spooked investors. "I don't like that".

NBC News reported that the Saudis are discussing issuing an explanation that would admit that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate while giving bin Salman so-called plausible deniability by saying he neither ordered the murder nor knew about it. However, there has yet to be any sign of this being published.

But this is the first time Turkish media have claimed to hear the tapes. "You are going to get me in trouble".

The New York Times reported Tuesday that a suspect identified by Turkey was a frequent companion of the prince's.

On Monday, CNN cited two sources as saying the Saudis are preparing a report saying the journalist's death resulted from a botched interrogation.

"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.

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