Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Finance | By Kristine Clayton

US Senators trigger probe into journalist disappearance

US Senators trigger probe into journalist disappearance

The footage aired today begins by showing the arrival of one of two private jets, then two cars can be seen taking the men to Gate E, where eight of them are seen on camera passing through passport control. The men checked into hotels and left Turkey later that night.

Earlier Turkish media close to the president published images of what it described as a 15-member "assassination squad" allegedly sent to kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and of a black van later moving from the Saudi consulate, where he went missing, to the consul's home.

Trump has forged a strong relationship with the Saudi royal family, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Adding to the macabre mystery, a Turkish official told the Associated Press that one member of the team was an "autopsy expert".

Turkish officials say they fear Khashoggi was killed at the consulate last week.

"We're demanding everything", Mr Trump said when asked if he was demanding information from the Saudis.

"It's a very serious situation for us and this White House", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office.

Iran's oil minister said on Monday that the market will never believe "exaggerated" claims by Saudi Arabia that it can replace Iranian oil shipments lost due to renewed U.S. sanctions.

Trump added: "Nobody knows what happened yet".

India hopes to secure a waiver from United States sanctions on Iran before they take effect on November 4, as it had significantly cut Iranian oil imports before the deadline, officials said on Monday.

This image taken from CCTV video obtained by the Turkish newspaper Hurriyet and made available on Tuesday, Oct. 9, 2018 claims to show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Tuesday, Oct. 2, 2018. The state-run Anadola news agency published the names and birth dates of all 15 Saudis.

Mr Khashoggi had entered the consulate to get documents for his planned marriage.

Almost two hours later, the video shows two vehicles with diplomatic plates -a luxury black sedan and a black Mercedes VITO van- leave through the police barricades outside the consulate.

The Post elaborated on those accounts in a separate story Tuesday, writing that the Saudi team laid in wait for Khashoggi to enter the consulate. Saudi Arabia has dismissed the allegations as "baseless".

The Hurriyet newspaper and other media alleged that the Saudi Consulate's 28 local staff were given the day off October 2 because a "diplomats' meeting" would be held there on that day. The station did not cite a source for its report.

Turkey said Tuesday it will search the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul as part of an investigation into the disappearance of a missing Saudi contributor to The Washington Post, a week after he vanished during a visit there.

U.S. President Donald Trump increased pressure on Saudi Arabia to provide information on what happened to Saudi journalist Khashoggi saying he wanted to get to the bottom of the matter.

He later returned on 2 October after being promised paperwork which was required in order for the couple to be married.

US Senator Bob Corker, who has reviewed US intelligence reports on the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, said "everything" points to the involvement of the Saudi government.

While Turkish officials have said in recent days they believe Khashoggi was killed in the consulate and his body later removed by the "murder team" that came from Saudi Arabia, newly released video footage-provided to the Post from a Turkish source-shows a group of men coming and going from Turkey, including their movements before and after Khashoggi's alleged abduction.

"We are very very disturbed" by Khashoggi's disappearance", said Code Pink founder Meda Benjamin. "It's a awful thing".

Mr Khashoggi had sought to become a U.S. citizen after living in self-imposed exile since past year, fearing repercussions for his criticism of the prince, Ms Cengiz wrote.

Trump, whose first overseas trip as USA president was to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said Tuesday he had not yet talked to the Saudis about Khashoggi, "but I will be at some point".

In a tweet on Tuesday, Aaron David Miller, a former Middle East adviser to both Republican and Democratic administrations, said that "If Saudis were involved in Jamal's death or disappearance, that's obviously on them".

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