Saudis preparing to admit Jamal Khashoggi died during interrogation, sources say

  • Saudis preparing to admit Jamal Khashoggi died during interrogation, sources say

Saudis preparing to admit Jamal Khashoggi died during interrogation, sources say

While Turkish officials have not officially stated what they believe happened to Khashoggi, they have reportedly told the USA that they have video and audio that suggests the journalist was tortured and murdered by a team of Saudis.

President Donald Trump initially made it clear that whatever the outcome of the inquiry into the disappearance of Khashoggi, the U.S. would not forgo billions of dollars in arms deals with Saudi Arabia.

Joe Lieberman, a former Democratic senator from CT who became an independent, said the disappearance and suspected murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi are "troubling", but until facts are established, the United States shouldn't destroy its relationship with Saudi Arabia.

The Journal, like CNN, said the Saudi statement has not been finalized.

Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government who has written for the Washington Post, was last seen walking into the consulate on 2 October.

Trump calls Khashoggi's disappearance a "terrible situation".

"It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers", he added. I mean, who knows?

"We are going to leave nothing uncovered", Trump told reporters.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, also said the kingdom is weighing whether to say that rogue operatives killed Khashoggi by mistake during an interrogation. The kingdom has called the allegations of foul play "baseless" but has offered no evidence the writer left the consulate.

"The objective of (Sunday's) message broadcasted by the Saudi national media is twofold: one goal is to satisfy the domestic public opinion that Saudi Arabia and its royal family will not be humiliated and the other goal is to send a message to the US", Mitreski, researcher at the University of Sydney, told AFP.

USA politicians have backed the call for tough punitive action against the Saudis, while Germany, France and Britain have jointly called for a "credible investigation" into his disappearance.

Representatives for the White House did not immediately respond to a request for further comment.

King Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke by telephone on Sunday evening, officials said, and stressed the importance of the two countries working together on the case.

The crown prince, ambitious, aggressive and just 33 in a kingdom long ruled by aging monarchs, has considerable weight in Saudi government actions.

In Istanbul, meanwhile, investigators entered the consulate for their own investigation. "Those banks and firms that reject the [conference] invitation now may find doors closed to them in the future", Young said.

Trump has promised "severe punishment" will be handed out to Riyadh if it turns out that the country is responsible for the alleged killing of the journalist - but that harsh comment has been tempered by other less angry statements which indicate that the United States president is not quite serious about doling out any kind of consequences.

Aleksandar Mitreski, a security and defence analyst, said Saudi Arabia cannot control the worldwide narrative but can try to alleviate the most damaging fallout.

"I'll tell you what I don't want to do", Trump said on 60 Minutes last night.