Published: Wed, October 17, 2018
Money | By Wilma Wheeler

High-Ranking Saudi Intel Officer Oversaw Khashoggi's Interrogation

High-Ranking Saudi Intel Officer Oversaw Khashoggi's Interrogation

Turkey hopes to enter the Saudi consul's residence in Istanbul on Wednesday in connection with the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkey's foreign minister said after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. "As of this moment, they deny it, and they deny it vehemently".

This video grab made on October 10, 2018, from CCTV footage obtained from Turkish news agency DHA, shows Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, right, arriving at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.

Khashoggi had fled the country past year amid the rise of Prince Mohammed, whom he wrote critically about in the Post.

The high-level Turkish official told the AP that police found "certain evidence" of Khashoggi's slaying at the consulate, without elaborating. "But it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers".

"I know what I'm going to do".

Anna Sunik, an Associate of the GIGA Middle East Institute in Hamburg, told DW that no matter how the Khashoggi case turns out, the incident looks "very bad" for the crown prince.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

Asked if a member of the Saudi royal family might conceivably be held accountable in the case, Pompeo said after talks in Riyadh: "They made no exceptions to who they would hold accountable".

A Saudi official, not authorized to speak publicly, told Reuters that the king had ordered an internal investigation based on information from the joint team in Istanbul. There have also been reports that Turkey has audio and visual evidence of the journalist's murder inside the consulate.

Earlier Monday, a cleaning crew with mops, trash bags and what appeared to be bottles of bleach walked in past waiting journalists.

"I think we have to find out what happened first", Mr. Trump said. With such a lack of clarity, the administration has not ruled out any possible scenario.

On Tuesday, Pompeo landed in Riyadh to meet with King Salman to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance.

Saudi Arabia denies that it had any role in Khashoggi's disappearance.

They said: 'Defending freedom of expression and a free press and ensuring the protection of journalists are key priorities for Germany, the United Kingdom and France.

"Nothing happens in Saudi Arabia without MbS knowing it", he said in an interview with Fox News.

Google has become the latest tech company to pull out of a high-profile conference in Saudi Arabia commonly referred to as Davos in the Desert. The prince has developed a rapport with Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law and senior adviser.

Trump's apparent willingness to take the Saudi denials at face value is in stark contrast to senior USA lawmakers, including from within the Republican Party.

A steady drip of leaks from Turkish officials has ratcheted up pressure on Saudi Arabia, but so far Turkey has not released all the evidence it has told USA officials it possesses.

Gardiner said, "The United States is supporting Saudi Arabia in its military efforts against Iranian backed Houthi rebels inside Yemen, so it's a very complex picture".

Reports suggest an assault and struggle took place in the building.

The New York Times, citing a person familiar with the Saudi plans, reported that Prince Mohamed bin Salman had approved an interrogation or rendition of Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia.

Trump said he was aware of the CNN report but that it wasn't clear if the network relied on official sources.

Turkey had wanted to search the consulate for days.

After over three hours work, the teams were still inside the consulate. Certain areas of the consulate were to remain off-limits, although officials would be able to inspect surveillance cameras, Turkish media reported. Turkish police cameras outside did not capture him leaving on foot. Saudi Arabia did not immediately acknowledge he had left or offer a reason for his departure.

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