Turkish police search Saudi consulate again in Khashoggi case

TURKEY-SAUDI-US-POLITICS-MEDIA-INVESTIGATION

TURKEY-SAUDI-US-POLITICS-MEDIA-INVESTIGATION

Turkish officials say they believe Khashoggi - a United States resident and Washington Post columnist critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and his body removed.

Meanwhile, the Washington Post has published the last column Mr Khashoggi wrote before his disappearance. Now I have to accept: "That is not going to happen", Attiah wrote.

Washington Post late on Tuesday published passport scans of the suspects allegedly involved in the journalist's killing, while another report detailed close links between the suspects and the powerful crown prince accused of ordering the murder.

Al-Otaibi returned to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday before his residence in Istanbul was searched by police on Wednesday and Thursday.

As they cut off Khashoggi's head and dismembered his body, a doctor of forensics who had been brought along for the dissection and disposal had some advice for the others, according to the senior Turkish official. Riyadh has denied any knowledge of his whereabouts.

Mr Khashoggi is a U.S. resident and columnist for the Washington Post newspaper who went into self-imposed exile previous year after reportedly being warned by Saudi officials to stop criticising the crown prince's policies. "More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices", Khashoggi writes.

In the column, the Saudi journalist argued in favor of a free press in the Middle East.

However his predecessor, Stephen Cordner, was one of the Saudi surgeon's Australian mentors and recalled the experience in a radio interview on Wednesday.




Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has promised that no one will be exempt from inquiry into Khashoggi's disappearance and has ensured a thorough probe.

Ms Attiah said the column was a ideal example of Khashoggi's commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world, which was "a freedom he apparently gave his life for". At another point, he said, "I'm not sure yet that it exists".

Pompeo made his comments to reporters on Thursday after briefing President Donald Trump at the White House on his talks in Saudi Arabia.

Pompeo told reporters on Wednesday that "we need to make sure we are mindful" of the important business and government ties with Saudi Arabia as the USA considers next steps regarding the Khashoggi case.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters Wednesday the situation is "really going to challenge" the USA relationship with Saudi Arabia, though said it's "too early to predict what the consequences will be".

Khashoggi, a dissident living in self-imposed exile in the United States where he contributed to the Washington Post, vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

That same day, the USA government received a $100 million payment from the oil-rich kingdom, The New York Times and Washington Post reported - an amount that had earlier been promised to the Trump administration to support its stabilization efforts in Syria. "I don't want to get into his mind, but it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers".

Meanwhile, International Trade Minister Liam Fox has been told to pull out of a business conference in Saudi Arabia next week as finance ministers from France and the Netherlands and prominent banking executives have scrapped their plans to attend.

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