Pompeo sees 'serious commitment' from Saudis on missing journalist

  • Pompeo sees 'serious commitment' from Saudis on missing journalist

Pompeo sees 'serious commitment' from Saudis on missing journalist

The Wall Street Journal reported late Tuesday that Saudi operatives beat and drugged Khashoggi, then killed and dismembered him.

The Washington Post has previously cited unnamed USA and Turkish officials pointing to audio and video recordings that prove Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate then dismembered.

CNN said that two sources had leaked the report, "which could change" and is "still being prepared".

Khashoggi's alleged killers tortured the journalist during interrogation by cutting his fingers off, Yeni Safak said, claiming it had heard several recordings of the incident.

On Monday, President Donald Trump suggested "rogue killers" could be behind Mr Khashoggi's disappearance.

He said that Cohen was nothing more than "a PR person who did small legal work", and said it was "very sad" that Cohen had struck a deal to "achieve a lighter sentence".

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu has said Pompeo would provide information about the case after Khashoggi, a United States resident, vanished during a visit to the consulate on October 2 to collect marriage documents.

So far there is no guarantee that the world will get any proof of Saudi Arabia's account of Khashoggi's death, beyond being asked to take the kingdom's word for it.

After Utaybi told the interrogators to "do it somewhere else outside or I will be in trouble", he was told to "shut up if you want to live when you are back in Arabia".

"Here we go again with you're guilty until proven innocent", Mr Trump said.

"I heard that [CNN] report, but nobody knows if it's an official report", he said in Georgia.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. What evidence Turkish officials could gather at the consulate remained unknown.

"Saudis claimed that his [consul's] family was inside", said Mevlut Cavusoglu addressing members of the media following his meeting with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Ankara.

The US president gave no evidence to support the theory.

Significantly, it was expected to showcase the reform agenda of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. "This is a rogue Crown Prince". He and Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser, Jared Kushner, have forged close ties.

But hours before the Turkish forensic team arrived, journalists photographed a cleaning crew entering the consulate, hauling buckets, mops and what appeared to be bottles of cleaning solution. They said he was dragged off minutes after entering the consulate to obtain marriage documents.

The Saudi regime's explanation of what took place in its Turkish consulate two weeks ago has changed dramatically over the past week as new evidence has continued to emerge and as the worldwide community has pressed for a credible investigation.

Earlier on Tuesday, Trump said that "I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia" - but in fact he has boasted in the past that "I make a lot of money with them".

"I think we'll also be guided by what other countries are doing", he said.

Trump last week vowed to uncover the truth about what happened to Khashoggi and promised "severe punishment" for those responsible.

United States lawmakers have been demanding scrapping of the Dollars 110 billion mega defence deal with Riyadh, whereas heads of several companies, CEOs, newspapers have announced not to attend an upcoming finance conference in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia has responded to Western statements by saying it would retaliate against any pressure or economic sanctions "with greater action", and Arab allies rallied to support it.

Trump said he'd made clear the stakes.

Saudi officials say he walked out of the consulate on his own.

Khashoggi had been living in self-exile in Virginia for the past year.