Khashoggi murder investigators spend nine hours at consulate

Charlene Craig
October 20, 2018

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and United States resident who became increasingly critical of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has not been seen since he walked into the Istanbul consulate to sort out marriage paperwork on October 2.

The controversy over the disappearance of Khashoggi, a USA resident who had been increasingly critical of the youthful crown prince, has dealt a huge blow to his efforts to showcase a reform drive and burnish the kingdom's image.

Pompeo met on Tuesday with King Salman bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud in the Saudi capital and financial hub of Riyadh.

Saudi Arabia previously called the allegation "baseless", but reports suggest they may admit he died during a botched interrogation. The Associated Press quoted an unnamed high-level Turkish official as saying that evidence was found there of Khashoggi's killing, without elaborating, while Reuters said investigators found "strong evidence" but no conclusive proof of Khashoggi's death.

The crown prince has portrayed himself as a reformer, winning praise for finally allowing women to drive and taking other steps aimed at reshaping the strict Islamic state's public image.

Washington Post Publisher and CEO Fred Ryan said the Saudi government "owes the Khashoggi family and the world a full and honest explanation of everything that happened to him", noting that Tuesday marked two weeks since the disappearance of the 59-year-old journalist.

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Some of the terms most searched for during the outage included " YouTube is down ", "YouTube down", and "YouTube error". The application had failed to open with an error message with users complaining about the issue on social media.

Turkish police Monday searched the consulate for the first time since the disappearance of Khashoggi, a Saudi national and USA resident who had become increasingly critical of Prince Mohammed.

Mohammed al-Otaibi, the Saudi consul general, apparently left on a 2pm flight as security forces set up barricades outside his residence in the city.

Pompeo's arrival came hours after a Turkish forensics team finished a search inside the consulate.

Google said that Diane Greene, the tech giant's cloud leader, will not be attending a conference in Saudi Arabia as questions swirl around the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Speaking at a trip to survey hurricane damage in Florida on Monday, Mr Trump admitted he had heard the reports of an imminent Saudi admission, but said "it's just a rumour of a report coming out".

By the time Turkish investigators gained access to the consulate Monday evening, a fresh coat of paint had been applied "everywhere" inside the building, a Turkish official told CNN Tuesday.

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Jordanian cargo is also allowed to leave for Syria in accordance with the agreement, the Petra news agency said. Lebanese politicians are sharply divided between supporter and opponent of Syrian President Bashar Assad.

The US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will visit Turkey, the Turkish media reported October 16. Investigators said the search will take place Wednesday, according to state broadcaster TRT.

"Been hearing the ridiculous "rogue killers" theory was where the Saudis would go with this", Democratic US Senator Chris Murphy said on Twitter.

State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Pompeo did not listen to a key piece of Turkey's evidence: an audio tape that Turkey claims captures Khashoggi's struggle and death inside the consulate.

"I'm not giving cover at all", Trump added, referring to Saudi Arabia. The passport scans were taken on the day of Khashoggi's disappearance. Germany, Britain and France issued a joint statement over the weekend expressing "grave concern" and calling for a credible investigation to ensure those responsible for the disappearance "are held to account".

The South Carolinian also said that Saudi Arabia has "nothing but contempt" for the United States and that he's "personally offended" by their actions.

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Khashoggi have been suitably investigated, but perhaps beyond that, given the regime's broader human rights record. Describing the disappearance as a "terrible thing", Trump said the USA would find out what happened to Khashoggi.

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