Turkey says it didn't share audio of Khashoggi murder with US

Virginia Carson
October 19, 2018

"Secretary Pompeo has neither heard a tape nor has he seen a transcript related to Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance", spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.

Mr Trump has previously vowed to inflict "severe punishment" on Saudi Arabia if it was behind Mr Khashoggi's killing - but also said he is against cancelling military contracts with Riyadh.

But, Trump added, referring to ongoing probes by Saudi Arabia and Turkey: "We're waiting for the results of about three different investigations".

Global concern over the case has led to many business and political figures pulling out of an upcoming conference in the Saudi capital, Riyadh.

The sudden cash windfall raised some eyebrows on Wednesday, given the ongoing investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance, but USA officials denied that the swift transfer of cash between Saudi Arabia and the United States had anything to do with Pompeo's visit to Riyadh.

He said Turkey has "an abysmal record" in treating its own journalists as does Saudi Arabia.

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"But it may cause them to limit some of the excesses that we have seen recently".

Mohammed on Wednesday met with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and told him an investigation into Khashoggi's death was underway.

Meanwhile, Turkish media say they have identified a 15-member team of suspected Saudi agents who flew into and out of Istanbul on the day of the disappearance.

"The specific transfer of funds has been long in process and has nothing to do with other events or the secretary's visit", said Brett McGurk, a USA envoy cited by The Times.

Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen and US green card holder, disappeared on October 2 after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, where he is widely believed to have been tortured and killed.

The Saudi government has strongly denied having anything to do with the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

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There is a perception here among critics of the Trump administration that USA officials are working with the Saudis to give them time to come up with a "cover story".

"Canada has said this with a very strong voice".

"Part of our reaction will depend on the Saudi reaction, and whether we sense that they are taking it as seriously as we are taking it". Ankara's top diplomat, meanwhile, denied sharing any audio from the Saudi consulate with US officials.

In Istanbul, a leaked surveillance photo showed a man who has been a member of the crown prince's entourage during trips overseas walking into the Saudi Consulate just before Mr Khashoggi vanished there.

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Canada, Russia, and Saudi Arabia, among other nations, consider the Muslim Brotherhood to be a terrorist group.

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