Saudi Crown Prince says jokingly: Don't say Lebanon's PM Hariri is kidnapped

27 October, 2018, 03:18 | Author: Sally Reid
  • Erdogan speaks during a meeting in Ankara Turkey Oct. 24 2018

A stream of Turkish video leaks that surfaced on Monday appeared to depict the Saudis trying to cover their tracks after Khashoggi's death, including images said to be of men at the consulate burning documents and a body double wearing Khashoggi's clothes, to make it appear the journalist had walked out of the consulate as the Saudis claimed.

"It is a disgrace that reaches all the way to Crown Prince [Mohammed bin] Salman". Britain followed suit on Wednesday as France said it was ready to back global sanctions against those responsible.

But Indyk said bin Salman instead brought headaches for Washington - not only Khashoggi's killing but in Yemen where the United States is backing a Saudi-led bombing campaign against Houthi rebels.

The US will continue to seek all relevant facts, consult the Congress, and work with other nations, to hold accountable those responsible for the killing of Khashoggi, Pompeo told reporters.

Turkish officials have balked at the ability of Saudi Arabia to conduct a credible investigation given the suspicion surrounding the royal court's involvement in the operation, noting that two of Mohammed's closest advisers were dismissed last week when the kingdom said Khashoggi died in a fistfight.

The kingdom sacked two top aides to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as well three intelligence officials and arrested 18 Saudi suspects.

Martin Indyk, a top Middle East policymaker under former president Bill Clinton, said Trump had in effect tried to subcontract policy in the region to Saudi Arabia and Israel as he lessens U.S. commitments. But a solution seems a long way off, partly because of deepening skepticism in Turkey and elsewhere that the brazen crime could have been carried out without the knowledge of Prince Mohammed, the kingdom's heir apparent.

A number of high profile business and political figures have pulled out of the conference over the death of the journalist, a prominent critic of Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler.

While addressing the forum on Wednesday, the crown prince also adopted a light tone and joked about allegations that Lebanon's premier-designate Hariri was detained in the kingdom previous year, saying he hoped his current visit does not spark "abduction" rumours.

It was not immediately clear who the items belonged to, but CCTV footage shows that Khashoggi did not take a bag or any electronics to his fateful October 2 consulate appointment.

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White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told CBS News on Thursday that Haspel would brief President Trump later in the day, following her short trip to Turkey, but Sanders would not comment on whether the Central Intelligence Agency chief had heard any audio depicting Khashoggi's killing.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Tuesday that the U.S. had "identified at least some" of the Saudi officials involved in the killing of Khashoggi and was revoking their visas.

Saudi prosecutors said Thursday that Turkish evidence shows that the killing of Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, was premeditated.

Interested in Jamal Khashoggi?

In the latest revelation, Turkish media Wednesday published a security camera image showing a vehicle belonging to the Saudi Consulate purportedly scouting a forest in the outskirts of Istanbul before the killing.

The whereabouts of Khashoggi's corpse is still unknown.

"She said the Home Secretary is taking action against all suspects in the murder of Mr Khashoggi to prevent them entering the UK".

President Tayyip Erdogan has called Khashoggi's murder a "savage killing" and demanded Riyadh punish those responsible, no matter how highly placed.

"It is not over yet", he said. "We are unravelling, dismantling (the case) and the world is closely following".

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