‘rogue killers’ might have slain missing Saudi journalist

19 October, 2018, 22:32 | Author: Carlos George
  • Spanish minister seeks inquiry into missing Saudi journalist

A team of investigators entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Monday for what Turkish officials called a joint inspection of the building where Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared almost two weeks ago.

U.S. President Donald Trump gave Saudi Arabia the benefit of the doubt in the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi even as senior U.S. lawmakers pointed the finger at the Saudi leadership and Western pressure mounted on Riyadh to provide answers.

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is still missing, almost two weeks after he entered the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul.

King Salman over the weekend ordered the Saudi public prosecutor to investigate the fate of Jamal Khashoggi, partly due to information received from Turkish authorities, the Saudi official said on Monday.

Khashoggi, a USA resident, Washington Post columnist and leading critic of the powerful Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, vanished after entering the consulate in Istanbul to get marriage documents.

Members of Khashoggi's family called for an investigation, in a statement released on Monday. "Who knows?" the president said, describing the situation as "terrible". I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with King!'

The Saudi Gazette trumpeted: "Enough Is Enough", while the Arab News said: "Saudi Arabia "will not be bullied". "But we want to find out what happened and he's got instructions to find out what happened".

"They're finally unleashing Trump to be this master of all media", Politico's Daniel Lippman said Monday in an interview on Cheddar.

"I do think the norms have eroded and the guardrails (have) come down under Donald Trump", said Colin Robertson, a former Canadian diplomat and foreign policy expert who serves as vice-president and fellow at the Calgary-based Canadian Global Affairs Institute.

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In protest of Khashoggi's disappearance, several US businesses leaders have pulled out of next week's Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, dubbed "Davos in the Desert", after the annual meeting of world economic interests in Switzerland.

While the search was being carried out on Tuesday, CNN and the New York Times reported that Saudi Arabia was preparing to acknowledge Khashoggi's death in a botched interrogation.

A separate brief statement issued by State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert also said that "the President has called for a prompt and open investigation into the disappearance of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi".

It was unclear what kind of search the officials will conduct and if it will involve forensics, especially since Mr Khashoggi disappeared on October 2.

Turkish and Saudi investigators began Monday what Turkish officials call a joint "inspection" of the consulate - but not before a cleaning crew walked in armed with mops, trash bags and cartons of milk, said to be good for removing bloodstains.

The case has caused friction between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, which repeatedly accused the Saudis of failing to cooperate with their investigation. Rubio said U.S. -Saudi relations may need to be "completely revised" and stressed the U.S. would lose credibility on human rights if the Trump administration remained silent.

Late Sunday, Saudi King Salman spoke by telephone with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan about Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and United States resident who became increasingly critical of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has not been seen since he walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to sort out marriage paperwork on October 2.

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