Saudi Arabia probing Jamal Khashoggi disappearance: Donald Trump

A murder claim gives Turkey leverage over Saudi and Trump

A murder claim gives Turkey leverage over Saudi and Trump

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Tuesday suggested the Saudis might have covered up a murder in their Istanbul consulate, a dramatic new twist in the case of the missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Freeland said she's been in contact with her G7 and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation counterparts, including U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, as well as the German, British and Turkish foreign ministers.

The Times cited sources as saying the Saudis were planning to say Khashoggi had been killed in an "interrogation gone wrong", done without the monarchy's knowledge.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada is very anxious about the disappearance of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and makes no apologies for pushing a human rights agenda with Saudi Arabia. After saying yesterday that King Salman has issued a "flat denial", Trump updated that statement to say that Salman's son, the crown prince, had "totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate".

Pressure is growing on Saudi Arabia to give a full explanation of what happened to the Washington Post columnist.

Saudi officials have repeatedly denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance and say they have no information about his whereabouts.

NBC News reported Monday that Saudi Arabia was discussing a plan to admit Khashoggi was killed in the consulate but claim that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and top Saudi leadership weren't aware or involved. "I'm going to sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia", Graham said.

Meanwhile Turkish officials are widening their investigation after searching the consulate on Monday.

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.

"Here we go again with you're guilty until proven innocent", Trump told the AP in an interview.




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.

However, the New York Times reports that four of the 15 people named by the Turkish authorities as suspects in Mr Khashoggi's disappearance have links to the crown prince, while another is a senior figure in the country's Interior Ministry.

Nils Melzer, the United Nations special investigator on torture, said that if Turkey and Saudi Arabia can't conduct "a credible and objective investigation", then global involvement may be needed.

But hours before the Turkish forensic team arrived, journalists photographed a cleaning crew entering the consulate, hauling buckets, mops and what appeared to be bottles of cleaning solution.

Turkish authorities reportedly claim they have tapes proving he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.

"It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers", Trump said. Saudi officials say he left the building, but have provided no evidence to support this.

Pro-government newspaper Sabah reported at the weekend that Khashoggi's Apple Watch recorded his interrogation, torture and killing, although some experts have said it is not likely that the watch could have recorded the events in the manner described.

Trump called Pompeo on Sunday night and asked him to have face-to-face meetings with the Saudi leaders, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said.

"I heard that report, but nobody knows if it's an official report", Trump told reporters, without elaborating.

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