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Saudi consul sacked after ‘journalist is chopped up’

19 Octobre 2018

The Turkish daily Yeni Safak earlier reported that Turkey has audio recordings that could reveal the details of what happened to Khashoggi after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2, noting that he had been tortured during an interrogation, with his fingers cut off.

The Saudi government has come out and said that Khashoggi's death was accidental, the result of a botched interrogation on the journalist who has been critical of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman's attempts at quashing dissent in the nation.

Khashoggi, a critic of Prince Mohammed's regime, hasn't been seen since he entered the consulate October 2 to retrieve a document for his planned wedding.

The president on Wednesday called Saudi Arabia an important ally, noting it is an important customer for US military exports.

Trump reiterated his hopes that Saudi leaders were not involved in the disappearance of Khashoggi, a USA resident.

"He's deeply, deeply involved in what's going on", the source said of Kushner.

A search expected on Tuesday at the consul's residence did not take place as family members were still present but should go ahead on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said.

While, according to CNN, Saudi Arabia was planning to release a report saying that Khashoggi had died during an interrogation gone wrong, these recordings, according to both Middle East Eye and the Wall Street Journal, show no evidence of an interrogation.

"They indicated they understood that getting that done in a timely, rapid fashion so they could begin to answer important questions", he told reporters traveling with him.

Analyst Dassa Kaye doubts that the "rogue killer defense" will satisfy US members of Congress, who have vowed actions over the feared killing, with some calling for sanctions.

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

Yeni Safak did not say how the tapes came into existence or how it obtained them.

U.S. State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said they have requested a detailed and transparent investigation from the Saudi government.

Turkish officials believe journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi consulate.

The Saudi consul Mohammed al-Otaibi left Istanbul for Riyadh on a scheduled Saudia flight Tuesday afternoon, with Ankara insisting he had not been expelled and left by his own choice.

"I think we have to find out what happened first", Mr Trump said on Tuesday.

A New York Times report, citing witnesses and other records, linked four suspects to Crown Prince Mohamed's security detail.

In an interview with Fox News, a prominent Trump ally in the Senate called on Saudi Arabia to reject the crown prince, known as MBS, who rose to power past year and has aggressively sought to soften the kingdom's image overseas and attract foreign investment. The new revelations by a Turkish newspaper, which have not yet been verified, put more pressure on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Khashoggi.

Turkish officials have reportedly informed their American counterparts that they had audio and video recordings pointing to Khashoggi's death inside the consulate, according to The Washington Post, to which Kahshoggi was a contributor.

"I'm not giving cover at all", he said.

Asked whether they said Khashoggi was alive or dead, Pompeo said: "They didn't talk about any of the facts". "I hope that the king and the crown prince didn't know about it".

Turkish Presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said a joint working group to probe Khashoggi's disappearance was made a decision to be established upon Saudi Arabia's offer.

Saudi consul sacked after ‘journalist is chopped up’