Saudi considers admitting Khashoggi died in botched op
16 October, 2018, 16:35 | Author: Regina Boyd
Turkish and Saudi teams investigating the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi two weeks ago have left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after a nine-hour search of the building, Reuters witnesses say.
Saudi Arabia is considering an admission that journalist JamalKhashoggi died during an interrogation that went wrong, USA media reported yesterday. Trump's comments followed a phone call with King Salman in which Trump said he strongly denied any knowledge of what happened to the journalist.
"The Turks have leaked so much that it is inconceivable that they would settle for less than telling the world exactly what happened", said Tamimi, who met Khashoggi for lunch in London the day before he disappeared.
However, left unsaid was the fact that any decision in the ultra-conservative kingdom rests exclusively with the ruling Al Saud family.
Members of the USA congress - both Democrat and Republican - could vote to block arms sales to Riyadh, and the White House would be under pressure to punish Saudi individuals if they were proven to have played a role in Khashoggi's disappearance.
Reporters waiting outside the consulate in Istanbul's Levent district said early October 16 that Turkish crime scene investigators turned off all the lights and surveyed the interior of the Saudi consulate with a special blue light used in forensics probes. Trump himself said without offering evidence that Khashoggi could have been murdered by "rogue killers", offering the US-allied kingdom a possible path out of a global diplomatic firestorm.
What evidence Turkish officials could gather at the consulate remained unknown. Prince Khalid is the crown prince's younger brother. Pompeo also was to meet with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom Khashoggi wrote critically about for The Washington Post and whose rise to power prompted the writer to go into a self-imposed exile in the United States. "The US must not be complicit in an effort to cover up this heinous crime", he said.
Khashoggi has criticized Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women's rights activists after the lifting of a driving ban for women-policies seen as initiatives of the crown prince.
For the first 13 days of Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance, Saudi Arabia held fast to its official position: We had no involvement; he left the consulate safely; any suggestion we are responsible is a political smear. The evidence never surfaced, however, and the claims stopped after a sudden increase in high-level diplomatic contacts between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.
US intelligence agencies had previously intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to draw Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia from his home in exile in the Washington area and then detain him, a former senior USA official said last week. That potentially offers the US -allied kingdom a possible path out of a global diplomatic firestorm. "Think of that, $110 billion".
"Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin should cancel his participation in the Saudi investor conference and it's long overdue that the Trump Administration nominate a US Ambassador to Saudi Arabia", Durbin said. But Trump was already facing pressure from some in Congress to respond to the Saudis with economic sanctions. These include the World Bank, The New York Times, Bloomberg, CNBC and Uber.
Prince Mohammed has aggressively pitched the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment. The columnist is one of the best-known news-media personalities in the kingdom and has been a confidant to several previous kings and princes.
Engaged since May - weeks after meeting - the couple is reportedly on good terms and they still "have love for each other". Multiple outlets are reporting the "God is a Woman" singer and " Saturday Night Live " star have broken up.
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