Turkey searches Saudi Embassy as Trump speaks of 'rogue killers'

Adjust Comment Print

United Nations human rights chief Michelle Bachelet called on Saudi Arabia and Turkey on Tuesday to reveal everything they know about the disappearance and possible murder of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi and said Riyadh should waive immunity on its diplomatic premises and officials.

Pompeo is to also meet with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Mohammed, whom Khashoggi wrote critically about in The Washington Post and whose rise in power saw the writer go into a self-imposed exile in the U.S.

It is believed that Khashoggi, aged 59, became a critic of the current government and Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman, who has zero tolerance for criticism of all sorts to his reforms.

The U.S. State Department said that Pompeo, the country's top diplomat, made it clear to the Saudis that "learning what happened to Jamal Khashoggi is the primary reason" Trump dispatched him to Riyadh, and that the matter "is of great interest to the president". And details - if they can be proven - like an autopsy expert identified by name, stepping off a private jet from Saudi Arabia, carrying a bone saw to perform an "interrogation", may prove hard to explain away. The official spoke on Tuesday on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations.

A view of the Saudi Arabia consul's residence, in Istanbul, Tuesday, Oct. 16, 2018.

The statement would pin blame on intelligence officials rather than Saudi leaders, alleging that an interrogation attempt had gone wrong and Khashoggi, who is a US resident and an opinion writer at the Washington Post, was killed without authorization.

US President Donald Trump said on Monday he had seen a media report that Saudi officials might say Khashoggi was killed during an unauthorised interrogation, but "nobody knows" if this was an official report.

Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi left Turkey on Tuesday afternoon, state media reported, just as police began putting up barricades around his official residence.

Luke Shaw signs mind-blowing new Manchester United contract
Much of the outcome on Saturday will hinge on how Hazard is going to deal with his marker on the day. The Chilean has endured a wretched time at Manchester United , in spite of his absurd remuneration.

But late Monday evening - after Turkish authorities placed high iron barriers in front of the consulate - a motorcade of six cars drew up and Turkish police and prosecutors entered the premises. Saudi Arabia did not immediately acknowledge the consul left the country, two weeks after Khashoggi disappeared at the diplomatic post he ran.

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it", Trump told reporters Monday. Certain areas of the consulate were to remain off-limits, although officials would be able to inspect surveillance cameras, Turkish media reported.

"Been hearing the ridiculous "rogue killers" theory was where the Saudis would go with this", Democratic US Senator Chris Murphy said on Twitter. Trump said Pompeo has license to travel wherever necessary, including Turkey, to investigate what happened.

An investment conference seen as a platform for the crown prince and dubbed the "Davos in the Desert" which was scheduled to take place in Riyadh next week, has been hit by a string of prominent cancellations.

The kingdom has not responded to repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press.

Germany, Britain and France issued a joint statement over the weekend expressing "grave concern", calling for a credible investigation to ensure those responsible for the disappearance "are held to account". "I can never do business with Saudi Arabia again until we get this behind us".

The South Carolinian also said that Saudi Arabia has "nothing but contempt" for the United States and that he's "personally offended" by their actions.