Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Worldwide | By Jermaine Blake

Trump yet to speak to Saudis about missing journalist

Trump yet to speak to Saudis about missing journalist

Kislakci said they received the news two days ago but had waited for confirmation.

Mr Khashoggi had been living in the United States, where he contributed articles to the Washington Post's opinion section.

Tharoor blamed the Trump administration for indulging Saudi abuses while relentlessly criticizing Iran and envisioned Khashoggi's incarceration or murder as the last straw for congressional representatives uncomfortable with the size of the blank check given to Mohammed bin Salman to consolidate his power.

Saudi Arabia has called accusations it ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside its Istanbul consulate "lies and baseless allegations".

Late on Saturday, Turkish sources told Reuters that Turkish authorities believed Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate last week, in what they described as the deliberate targeting of a prominent critic of the Gulf kingdom's rulers.

US President Donald Trump said on Tuesday he does not know anything about Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance.

A member of the Saudi elite, he had remained in exile in the USA for much of the past year, from where he wrote columns for The Washington Post critiquing aspects of the Kingdom's reform programme.

The Turkish security camera video was reminiscent of the surveillance video sleuthing done by officials investigating the assassination of a Hamas operative in Dubai in 2010 or the slaying of North Korean leader Kim Jong Un's half brother in Malaysia in 2017.

He said he was personally following the case and would announce the results of the investigation at an undisclosed time.

Much like many other stories since the start of the rift, then, depending on what you read, you have a completely different perception of what has happened since Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate last week.

Now Turkish authorities are saying there is evidence to suggest the journalist never left the building and was murdered there.

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Saudi Arabia has maintained the journalist, a critic of the government, left the building shortly after arriving on 2 October. The reports did not cite a source and there was no official confirmation.

One of the two planes that transported 15 Saudis was searched by Turkish authorities before leaving Turkey for Dubai. It alleged that he may have been responsible for cleaning up any incriminating evidence.

"The intelligence of the Saudi regime [is] responsible", she claimed, vowing not to "keep silent about what happened to Khashoggi".

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the State Department has been communicating with Saudi Arabia regarding the issue and is calling on Saudi Arabia to support an investigation.

"At this time, I implore President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal's disappearance", she said.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has previously said officials are welcome to conduct a search as there is nothing to hide.

"If we do not show any reaction, we can be the next one disappearing", he added.

Mr Khashoggi, who was living in self-imposed exile in the USA and working for the Washington Post before his disappearance, was a frequent critic of the kingdom's de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom he described as a "brash and abrasive young innovator" who was "acting like Putin".

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, speaking Thursday to reporters during a visit to Baghdad, said Turkey would share whatever information comes out of its investigation and called for Saudi co-operation in the probe.

Turkey summoned the Saudi ambassador on Sunday to request the kingdom's "full co-operation" in the investigation, a Foreign Ministry official said. There were no details about when the search would take place.

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