Body of missing Saudi journalist was cut into pieces, Turkish official says

  • Body of missing Saudi journalist was cut into pieces, Turkish official says

Body of missing Saudi journalist was cut into pieces, Turkish official says

Turkish sources have told Reuters the authorities have an audio recording indicating that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate.

The phone call coincided with a visit to Saudi Arabia by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, sent there by Mr Trump to deal with the crisis in relations.

The Daily Beast reported that Saudi officials plan to pin Khashoggi's death on an unnamed Saudi two-star general, citing two anonymous sources familiar with the matter.

According to The New York Times, the funds in question may help limit the damage the Trump administration could inflict upon the kingdom over the Khashoggi case.

But the United States has refused to rebuke its ally despite the mounting claims, with President Donald Trump insisting on the principle of innocence before being proven guilty and Pompeo saying after talks in Riyadh: "I don't want to talk about any of the facts".

On Tuesday, Pompeo landed in Riyadh to meet with King Salman to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance. Khashoggi was a US resident who wrote columns for the Washington Post and he was critical of the Saudi government, calling for reforms.

Washington Post Publisher and CEO Fred Ryan said the Saudi government "owes the Khashoggi family and the world a full and honest explanation of everything that happened to him", noting that Tuesday marked two weeks since the disappearance of the 59-year-old journalist.

The case has strained U.S. -Saudi ties and cast a shadow over Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's efforts to overhaul the kingdom's economy and attract foreign investment. "You are going to get me in trouble".

According to Erdogan, Turkish investigators who searched the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul found surfaces there newly painted over. The New York Times and CNN have reported that the Saudi government is preparing a report that will acknowledge the death of Khashoggi, who disappeared after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on October 2, as a result of an interrogation gone wrong. The Saudi government could not be reached immediately for comment on the CNN report.

Turkey hopes to enter the Saudi consul's residence in Istanbul on Wednesday in connection with the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Turkey's foreign minister said after meeting U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"The investigation is looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over", Mr Erdogan said.

The Saudi consul left Turkey for the Saudi capital Riyadh Tuesday just hours after Turkish officials said they wanted to search his residence and the consulate's fleet of vehicles, Ankara's Foreign Ministry said.

Nils Melzer, the United Nations special investigator on torture, said that if Turkey and Saudi Arabia can't conduct "a credible and objective investigation", then worldwide involvement may be needed.

Turkish investigative agencies have said that he was brutally killed inside the consulate.

"This guy has got to go", said Sen. Al-Otaibi left Turkey on Tuesday afternoon, Turkish state media reported.

Within days of Khashoggi's disappearance, Turkish investigators said they had pieced together most of the mystery, concluding that he had been killed inside the consulate and dismembered. An IMF spokesman said she had postponed her planned trip to the Middle East with a stop in Saudi Arabia.

Pompeo arrived in Ankara after talks with Saudi officials in Riyadh.

"I heard that report, but nobody knows if it's an official report", Trump told reporters, without elaborating.