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Trump, after rogue killers comment, doubts unreleased Saudi report on Khashoggi

17 Octobre 2018

The scans, obtained by NBC News from Turkish officials, show the photo-and-bio pages of seven Saudi passports that Turkish officials say belonged to seven of the 15 Saudis who arrived in Istanbul ahead of Khashoggi's disappearance.

Erdogan said investigators found surfaces newly painted over, which could indicate an attempt to hide evidence.

Mr. Trump has spoken with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom he said both deny any knowledge of Khashoggi's disappearance.

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. The New York Times reported that Prince Mohammed had approved an interrogation or abduction of Khashoggi and the government would shield him by blaming an intelligence official.

Pompeo has focused on the need to investigate, and has generally avoided trying to determine what actually happened to Khashoggi on October 2.

Forensic vehicles took away soil samples as well as a metal door from the garden, the Reuters witness said. Publicly, Saudi Arabia so far has issued only denials in response to reports of Turkish claims that Khashoggi was murdered.

Graham said he is going to propose that the Senate "sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia" over Khashoggi's murder, arguing bin Salman has put President Trump and other USA lawmakers "in a box" after the president sought friendly relations.

Appearing to find the explanation a little too convenient, Democratic Sen.

The investigators, who eventually searched the premises for eight hours, took samples with them, including soil from the consulate garden, according to an official at the scene. Pompeo reached Saudi Arabia for urgent talks with King Salman seeking answers about the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi. I'm going to sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia.

Trump's warning drew an angry response on Sunday (Monday NZT) from Saudi Arabia and its state-linked media, including a suggestion that Riyadh could wield its oil production as a weapon.

In August, Saudi Arabia reacted strongly to a tweet from Freeland calling for the immediate release of detained activists, including Samar Badawi, a champion of women's rights and the sister of detained blogger Raif Badawi.

Khashoggi, a familiar face on Arab talk shows, moved to Washington past year fearing retribution for his criticism of Prince Mohammed, who has cracked down on dissent with arrests.

Since then, the prince has developed a strong relationship with Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, who serves as a regular liaison between the USA and Saudi Arabia.

Earlier in the day, United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said the "inviolability or immunity" of people or premises granted under the 1963 Vienna Convention on Consular Relations "should be waived immediately".

Part of the problem is optics, officials said: Saudi Arabia looks like a brutal ally, including by leading a deadly military campaign in Yemen, just as Trump and Pompeo have been casting Iran as the region's bully.

The Journal, like CNN, said the Saudi statement has not been finalized.

The White House knows it will be straining credulity with its supporters if, as Donald Trump has suggested, it were to accept the Saudis' claim that Khashoggi's presumed killing was the result of a rogue operation that went wrong.

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Trump, after rogue killers comment, doubts unreleased Saudi report on Khashoggi