Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Global | By Craig Ferguson

Turkish police finish search of Saudi consulate as Pompeo heads to Riyadh

Turkish police finish search of Saudi consulate as Pompeo heads to Riyadh

A video of people with mops and buckets, entering the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul hours before investigators of Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance were to go there has prompted concerns and speculations. "So we're going to have to see", Trump said in a "60 Minutes" interview broadcast Sunday. According to CNN, the report will likely claim the interrogation was conducted without clearance or transparency. "It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers - who knows", Trump told reporters.

Mr Pompeo was hastily dispatched to Riyadh amid signs that the current Saudi position - a flat denial that Mr Khashoggi was killed inside their consulate in Istanbul - might be about to change.

Earlier on Monday US President Donald Trump suggested that "rogue" elements within the Saudi state may be behind Khashoggi's alleged murder.

CNN received no response when reaching out to the CEO, managing director and organizers of the conference about whether a delay had been discussed.

The case has caused friction between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which repeatedly accused the Saudis of failing to cooperate with their investigation.

The move comes in response to the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, a dissident columnist who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is reportedly preparing an official account admitting the journalist was killed after entering the consulate.

" In it, author S.V. Date quotes Courtney Radsch of the Committee to Protect Journalists and former Central Intelligence Agency analyst Ned Price to claim Trump's rhetoric likely led to Khashoggi's disappearance".

Meanwhile, the chiefs of Blackstone and BlackRock, two major United States investment firms, joined an exodus of executives pulling out of Crown Prince's "Davos in the Desert" summit.

Handshake: US President Donald Trump with and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in Riyadh in May previous year.

Other business leaders who have said they would not attend the conference, including Uber [UBER.UL] Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi, said they were concerned about Khashoggi's disappearance.

He "denies any knowledge of what took place with regard to, as he said, his 'Saudi Arabian citizen, '" Trump told reporters on the White House lawn.

The three executives' companies have significant financial ties to Saudi Arabia.

Turkish officials have accused Saudi Arabia of sending in a 15-man team to interrogate, kill, and dismember Khashoggi's body with a bone saw before flying it back to his native country.

A number of powerful USA executives said they pulled out of an investment summit in Riyadh later this month because of the case.

Khashoggi is now presumed dead, with suspicions growing that his disappearance is linked to the 59-year-old journalist's outspoken criticism of Saudi Arabia as a correspondent for the Washington Post. Despite being anxious for his safety, he had gone into the consulate in Istanbul to get a document necessary to marry his Turkish fiancee, the partner and friends have said.

The controversy has troubled Saudi's traditional Western allies - who are key arms suppliers to the kingdom - and also undermined efforts by Mohammed bin Salman to present himself as a modernising ruler.

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