Published: Thu, October 18, 2018
Markets | By Terence Owen

Khashoggi was tortured before being killed

Khashoggi was tortured before being killed

President Trump has been reluctant to terminate its $110 billion arms deal with the kingdom because he argues it would harm US manufacturers.

Pompeo was heading next to Turkey, where officials have accused the Saudis of using a 15-member team to kill Khashoggi inside the consulate.

Erdogan did not expand on that claim, only adding that "my hope is that we can reach conclusions that will give us a reasonable opinion as soon as possible".

Speaking to reporters at the White House on Wednesday, Trump said the administration had requested access to recorded evidence from the Turkish authorities "if it exists" and that it "probably does".

The US's defence of its most important Arab ally may become harder to maintain as further damning details into Khashoggi's alleged murder emerge and its links to the powerful crown prince.

Trump also said "that would be bad" if Saudi Arabia's king and crown prince knew about the suspected killing of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate.

A Turkish official told CNN on Tuesday that Khashoggi's body was cut into pieces after he was killed two weeks ago at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

On October 5 Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tells Bloomberg that Khashoggi is not inside the consulate and "we are ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises", which is Saudi sovereign territory. It wasn't immediately clear what they hoped to find there, although surveillance video had showed diplomatic cars moving between the consulate and the residence almost two hours after Khashoggi walked into the diplomatic post.

On Monday, sources told CNN that the report will acknowledge that Khashoggi died in a botched interrogation, one that was meant to lead to his abduction from Turkey.

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Pompeo said he stressed the "importance of [Saudi authorities] conducting a complete investigation into the disappearance", and that the kingdom had vowed to do so.

Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Wednesday said, "we will probably know (what happened) by the end of the week". As they sat down for their first meeting, the crown prince, in English, told Pompeo, "We are strong and old allies".

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was tortured before being decapitated inside Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul, pro-government daily Yeni Safak reported on Wednesday, saying it heard audio recordings.

"The timing of this is no coincidence", an American official involved in Syria policy said on condition of anonymity.

Pompeo also rejected assertions that he was giving Saudi leaders "the benefit of the doubt" in accepting their denials of any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance.

"If you want to live when you come back to Arabia, shut up", one of the agents said, according to the report.

He reiterated USA concern over Khashoggi's disappearance, Nauert said, adding that both foreign ministers had "agreed on the importance of a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation". "And frankly they have a tremendous order, $110 billion, every country in the world wanted a piece of that order - we got all of it".

The High Commissioner noted that Saudi Arabia and Turkey were both party to the "UN Convention against Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment".

"I've been their biggest defender on the floor of the United States Senate", Graham said of the country, which has always been an ally of the United States despite its human rights abuses.

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