Reports Link Suspects in Khashoggi Case to Saudi Crown Prince

Dwayne Harmon
October 18, 2018

But when asked if he was "giving cover" to the Saudi leaders, he said Wednesday that he was not.

The chief executive of French bank Societe Generale has cancelled his attendance at a Saudi Arabia investment conference, as leading business executives pull out amid widespread concern about the fate of a Saudi journalist.

Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of SC and one of the kingdom's biggest defenders, angrily rejected the Saudi denials that Trump repeated.

"I said, "Who are we hurting? Again, I've had some senators come up and some Congressmen that said, "well, you know, sir, I think what we should do is we should not take that order", he said". In August, US officials hailed the Saudi pledge and said the United States would use US$230 million earmarked to help stabilise Syria for other purposes.

While Trump has voiced support for Saudi Arabia as the investigation continues, some US lawmakers have all but accepted Turkey's version of the events - that a team of Saudi agents arrived in Istanbul and killed Khashoggi when he went to the consulate to pick up documents he needed to marry his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, a Turkish national who waited in vain for Khashoggi to emerge from the consulate.

Pompeo had just come from Riyadh, where he spoke Tuesday with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Trump also said he expected to get a full report from Pompeo when he returned.

The crown prince and his father, King Salman, have denied any knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts, repeatedly asserting that he left the consulate freely. Turkish officials have said he was murdered, and the Turkish newspaper's report said an audio recording revealed gory details about Khashoggi's demise inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Mr Khashoggi's alleged killers tortured him during interrogation by cutting his fingers off, Yeni Safak said, claiming it had heard multiple recordings.

President Trump echoed Pompeo on the importance of the US relationship with Saudi Arabia in an interview with Fox Business News this morning.

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But Trump has slow-pedaled on the possibility of action against Saudi Arabia, which he has repeatedly praised as a historic customer for the U.S. weapons industry, at one point suggesting "rogue killers" could be to blame for Khashoggi's disappearance.

Khashoggi, who had been living in the US, visited the consulate to file paperwork for his wedding and has not been seen since.

President Donald Trump has responded equivocally, both promising harsh action if the royal court is implicated in Khashoggi's disappearance and saying he'd be reluctant to cancel multibillion-dollar arms sales to the kingdom.

The search at the consul-general's residence, which included police from anti-terrorism and forensic units, followed a lengthy search of the consulate building that concluded early on Tuesday when Turkish officials also took soil samples from its garden, state news agency Anadolu said. It was the second-such extraordinary search of land considered under global law to be Saudi sovereign soil after Turkish police searched the consulate through the early morning on Tuesday.

U.S. media and officials have called on Ankara to release the evidence, but the Turkish investigators have not done so yet.

In an interview with Fox News, a prominent Trump ally in the Senate called on Saudi Arabia to reject the crown prince, known as MBS, who rose to power previous year and has aggressively sought to soften the kingdom's image overseas and attract foreign investment.

President Donald Trump with Saudi Arabia's Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

As they cut off Khashoggi's head and dismembered his body, a doctor of forensics who had been brought along for the dissection and disposal had some advice for the others, according to the senior Turkish official.

Pompeo said the Saudis committed to holding accountable "anyone connected to any wrongdoing that may be found", making no exceptions for anyone, including members of the royal family.

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