Saudis Preparing to Admit Journalist Killed By Mistake During Interrogation

President Donald Trump delivers a speech during Arab-Islamic-American Summit in Riyadh Saudi Arabia

It is suspected that the Washington Post columnist, who was critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed while visiting the Gulf kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

On that same day, 15 Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the building while Khashoggi was still inside, Turkish police sources said. "Nothing happens in Saudi Arabia without MBS knowing it", he said.

As he dispatched Pompeo to Riyadh on Monday, Trump told reporters at the White House that King Salman's denials to him about Khashoggi's fate in a phone call "could not have been stronger".

"It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers", Trump said. "I am immediately sending our Secretary of State to meet with the King!"

The dissident journalist was killed minutes after he arrived at the building to pick up marriage paperwork on 2 October, according to U.S. and Turkish press reports of what the officials say are audio recordings that prove he was beaten and drugged, then brutally killed and dismembered.

Khashoggi, a United States resident, has not been seen in public since he entered the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

On Monday, Salman announced Saudi Arabia was launching an internal probe into the disappearance Khashoggi and a joint Turkish-Saudi team was set to search the consulate.

Back in Istanbul, the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared more serious about trying to discover the truth.

The Washington Post has previously cited unnamed United States and Turkish officials pointing to audio and video recordings that prove Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate then dismembered. "There's an open invitation to speak with Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump about this incident and what they think the USA should do next".

Foreign capital is key to Saudi plans for economic diversification and job creation.

The case has provoked an global outcry against Saudi Arabia, the world's top oil exporter, with more media and business executives pulling out of a planned investment conference there this month. Mr. Trump said, "so far it's just the rumor of a report coming out". CNBC reported that Mastercard CEO Ajay Banga would not attend either.




The organizer insisted the conference would go ahead, saying in an emailed statement on Monday that more than 150 speakers were confirmed from over 140 organizations.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says Canada is very anxious about the disappearance of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and makes no apologies for pushing a human rights agenda with Saudi Arabia.

U.S. President Donald Trump criticized the growing condemnation of Saudi Arabia in an interview with the Associated Press on Tuesday. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon and Ford Motor Co.

In August, Saudi Arabia reacted strongly to a tweet from Freeland calling for the immediate release of detained activists, including Samar Badawi, a champion of women's rights and the sister of detained blogger Raif Badawi. UAE businessman Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor urged a boycott of Virgin, which has suspended discussions with PIF over a planned $1 billion investment.

Khashoggi had fled the country a year ago amid the rise of Prince Mohammed, whom he wrote critically about in the Post.

In Saudi Arabia, Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman, the crown prince and the foreign minister.

In Turkey earlier Tuesday, a high-level Turkish official told the AP that police investigators searching the Saudi Consulate had found evidence that Khashoggi was killed there.

Still, Saudi Arabia responded harshly, saying it would retaliate and escalate the situation if it suffered any consequences from the Khashoggi case.

"I think we have to find out what happened first", he said. We've all heard a lot about the audio.

"They are trying to make fun of us and our willingness to cooperate", one of the officials said.

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