Published: Wed, October 17, 2018
Economy | By

Saudi crown prince blamed for Khashoggi death by U.S. senator

Saudi crown prince blamed for Khashoggi death by U.S. senator

Citing two unidentified sources, CNN reported on Monday that Saudi Arabia is preparing a report that would acknowledge Khashoggi was killed as the result of an interrogation that went wrong.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (R) and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (L) shaking hands as they pose for a photo during their meeting at Esenboga International Airport in Ankara.

The Middle East Eye website quoted a Turkish source saying there was "no attempt to interrogate" Khashoggi and the Saudi team had "come to kill him".

The Iranian press has been reprinting the gruesome claims from Turkish and other global sources that Khashoggi was tortured and dismembered inside the consulate, and on Wednesday alleged a cover-up by Riyadh and Washington.

Over the weekend, United States President Donald Trump warned Riyadh of "severe" consequences if the Saudi government was directly implicated in the incident, and sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the country on Monday.

Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud, crown prince of Saudi Arabia, attends a meeting at the United Nations in New York City, March 27, 2018.

Turkish media report that a 15-member Saudi "assassination squad" confronted the Washington Post writer at the embassy and his screams could be heard throughout the building.

The U.S. State Department said Pompeo made it clear to the Saudis that "learning what happened to Jamal Khashoggi is the primary reason" Trump dispatched him to Riyadh, and that the matter "is of great interest to the president".

It's believed that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) directly ordered the execution of Khashoggi over his criticism of the Saudi regime, according to U.S. intelligence intercepts. "I'm going to sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia", Graham said.

Utaybi returned to Saudi Arabia on October 16 before Turkish police searched his residence in Istanbul.

The report by Yeni Safak adds to the ever-increasing pressure on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Khashoggi, who vanished Oct 2 while visiting the consulate to pick up paperwork he needed to get married.

Donald Trump, the U.S. president, is under growing pressure to take action after a key Senate ally accused Saudi Arabia's crown prince of ordering the murder of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"The investigation is looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over", Mr Erdogan said.

"I emphasised the importance of conducting a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation, and the Saudi leadership pledged to deliver precisely on that", he said.

No details have been released, but afterwards Mr Cavusoglu said they are hoping investigators will be able to gain access to the residence later on Wednesday.

But this is the first time Turkish media have claimed to hear the tapes. "He didn't really know, maybe - I don't want to get into his mind but it sounded to me - maybe these could have been rogue killers".

Barraged by questions at his weekly press conference on Monday, foreign ministry spokesman Bahram Ghasemi said only that Iran was monitoring events.

Saudi operatives were reportedly told they should listen to music as journalist Jamal Khashoggi was dismembered, an audio recording indicates, according to a new report.

Trump's previous warnings over the case drew an angry response on Sunday from Saudi Arabia and its state-linked media, including a suggestion that Riyadh could wield its oil production as a weapon.

Like this: