Tapes show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi 'decapitated' inside Riyadh's consulate

Marcus Newton
October 17, 2018

Following Trump's comments about the possibility that "rogue killers" might have been involved, several United States media outlets reported that a Saudi probe was expected to paint Khashoggi's death as a result of a botched rendition and interrogation.

The promised money was put into US accounts the same day that Pompeo arrived in Saudi Arabia for meetings with the Saudi king and crown prince over the ongoing investigation of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi - an issue that has heightened tensions between the longtime allies.

According to The New York Times, the funds in question may help limit the damage the Trump administration could inflict upon the kingdom over the Khashoggi case.

President Donald Trump, who earlier warned of "severe punishment" if the kingdom was found culpable for Khashoggi's disappearance, criticised the allegations against the kingdom and compared it to the accusations of sexual assault levelled against now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.

Pompeo met with Saudi Arabian King Salman and the crown prince in Riyadh on Tuesday.

Prominent US newspapers have reported, citing anonymous sources, that Saudi officials may soon acknowledge Khashoggi's slaying at the consulate but blame it on a botched intelligence operation.

Pompeo's faith in the Saudi authorities to cooperate with the investigation into Khashoggi's fate was echoed by Trump, who said in an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday night that Riyadh had again denied it had anything to do with Khashoggi's disappearance and remained "innocent until proven guilty".

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said the United States should "sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia" and slammed the crown prince, known by his initials MBS, as a "toxic" figure.

According to Erdogan, Turkish investigators who searched the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul found surfaces there newly painted over.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is due to visit Turkey on Wednesday, following a meeting with Saudi King Salman and the crown prince on Tuesday.

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In August, Saudi Arabia reacted strongly to a tweet from Freeland calling for the immediate release of detained activists, including Samar Badawi, a champion of women's rights and the sister of detained blogger Raif Badawi.

Khashoggi's alleged killers tortured the journalist during interrogation by cutting his fingers off, Yeni Safak said, claiming it had heard multiple recordings.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan meets with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at Esenboga International Airport in Ankara, Turkey October 17, 2018.

Trump said the Saudi leader assured him that "he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter".

Turkish investigative agencies have said that he was brutally killed inside the consulate. But this is the first time Turkish media claimed to have heard them.

"This guy has got to go", said Sen.

"It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers", Trump said.

The daily reported that in another tape, an unknown individual tells Otaibi: "If you want to live when you come to Saudi Arabia, be quiet!"

"There seems to be clear evidence that Khashoggi entered the Consulate and has never been seen since, the onus is on the Saudi authorities to reveal what happened to him from that point onwards", she said.

"It has been 13 days since the event, so surely proving some of the evidence might be difficult" the Turkish official said.

Other reports by MaliBehiribAe

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