Published: Wed, October 17, 2018
Money | By Ralph Mccoy

Saudi Arabia orders internal probe into Khashoggi case after worldwide pressure

Saudi Arabia orders internal probe into Khashoggi case after worldwide pressure

Saudi Arabia said it rejects "threats" and political pressure over the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi in its consulate in Istanbul, a day after US President Donald Trump said there would be "severe punishment" if Saudi Arabia is found to have killed the Washington Post columnist.

Saudi Arabia has pledged to retaliate economically for any USA punitive action. Moreover, the incident has given rise to a myriad of reactions among US Senators, ranging from boycotting an upcoming economic summit to ending support for Saudi military operations.

Khashoggi has been a USA resident since he went into self-imposed exile past year over fear he could be arrested in Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi, a USA resident, disappeared after entering the consulate to get marriage documents.

In a column published just after the SPA statement, Saudi-owned Al Arabiya channel's general manager Turki Aldakhil warned that imposing sanctions on the world's largest oil exporter could spark global economic disaster.

Britain, France and Germany released a rare joint statement saying they were treating Khashoggi's disappearance "with the utmost seriousness" and calling for a "credible investigation".

UK Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and his German and French counterparts said "light must be shed" on Khashoggi's disappearance, and cautioned that the Saudi government was expected "to provide a complete and detailed response".

The Saudi warnings came after the country's stock market fell as much as 7% on Sunday amid fears of sanctions.

However, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Saturday that Saudi authorities were not cooperating with the investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and in particular are not letting Turkish prosecutors into the consulate building.

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Reportedly, Jamal Khashoggi has not been seen since entering the consulate on the afternoon of October 2.

The drop in the Tadawul exchange in Riyadh happened Sunday, the first day of trading.

The New York Times reported that the Saudi royal court would soon put out a narrative that an official within the kingdom's intelligence services - who happened to be a friend of Prince Mohammed - had carried out the killing. Certain areas of the consulate were to remain off-limits, although officials would be able to inspect surveillance cameras, Turkish media reported.

Turkish officials say they fear Saudi agents killed Khashoggi after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

The king thanked Mr Erdogan for welcoming a Saudi proposal to form a joint working group to discuss Mr Khashoggi's disappearance and said no one could undermine their relationship. "We're going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon, but his was a flat denial".

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it", Trump told reporters as he left the White House for a trip to survey hurricane damage in Florida and Georgia.

Manchester United are being targeted for takeover by Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, Mohammad bin Salman, according to reports from both The Daily Star and The Sun.

The kingdom's Government and people are "as glorious and steadfast as ever", it said.

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