Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

Istanbul police search Saudi consul's residence in Khashoggi probe

Istanbul police search Saudi consul's residence in Khashoggi probe

A pro-government Turkish newspaper published a gruesome account of the alleged murder of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, showing the writer was dismembered before he was killed, and his remains may have been melted in acid. Now I have to accept: "That is not going to happen".

Crime scene investigators concluded a second search of the consulate and the consul's residence overnight Thursday.

The Turkish government has said it possesses audio and video proof Khashoggi was murdered shortly after entering the consulate.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker, R-Tennessee, says that the Trump administration has "clamped down" on intelligence regarding the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. They claim Khashoggi stopped attending Brotherhood meetings but acknowledge that he "remained conversant in its conservative, Islamist and often anti-Western rhetoric, which he could deploy or hide depending on whom he was seeking to befriend".

She said Khashoggi's idea for the column came during a period of time when he expressed growing concern over the lack of free speech in the Arab world.

Prince Mohammed has painted himself as the face of a new, vibrant Saudi Arabia, diversifying its economy away from reliance on oil and making some social changes.

Worldwide leaders and business executives are severing or rethinking ties to the Saudi government after Khashoggi's high-profile disappearance.

Khashoggi's editor said the article "perfectly captures his commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world".

Britain, France and Germany had also called on the Saudi and Turkish authorities to mount a "credible investigation" into the disappearance of Khashoggi, saying they were treating the incident with "utmost seriousness".

Saudi Consul Mohammad al-Otaibi returned to Saudi Arabia on Oct. 16 before his residence in Istanbul was searched by police for more than eight hours on Oct. 17 and Oct. 18. When asked on Wednesday if he was covering up for bin Salman, Trump said: "No, not at all, I just want to find out what's happening".

Pompeo, who spoke with reporters on the White House driveway after briefing Trump on his talks with leaders in Saudi Arabia and Turkey, said Turkey also promised to share the results of its own investigation with the Saudis.

The Saudi government has vehemently denied these allegations but, after more than two weeks, still hasn't provided any evidence Khashoggi is alive.

Over the past few days, Mr Trump has raised the possibility of "rogue killers" being behind the journalist's disappearance.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced Thursday that he will not attend a previously scheduled Saudi investment conference.

A spokeswoman for PSPS Consultants, which had organised the trip for the Dutch governement, said: "All trade missions to the country have been suspended for now".

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