Saudis said ready to concede writer was slain in botched interrogation

Saudis said ready to concede writer was slain in botched interrogation

Turkish and Saudi investigators on Monday began conducting what Turkish officials have said is a joint "inspection" of the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, where Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi went missing almost two weeks ago.The team arrived by unmarked police auto and said nothing to journalists waiting outside as worldwide concern continues to grow over the writer's disappearance.

Trump on Monday said he spoke with Saudi Arabia's King Salman, who denied any knowledge of Khashoggi's disappearance.

Turkish forensics and police officers arrive to the Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on October 15, 2018, to search the premises in the investigation over missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump has taken a cautious position since the disappearance of Khashoggi - a Washington Post contributor and critic of powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The Washington Post reported in recent days that the Turkish government informed USA officials it was in possession of video recordings that prove Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, but have not made them public.

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

The Turkish government has also told the Trump administration that it possesses audio recordings of what occurred inside the consulate that day - evidence that USA officials said supports the conclusion that Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.

Trump had used a similar formulation of language when his nomination of Brett Kavanuagh to the U.S. Supreme Court ran into trouble in the Senate after several women came forward to accuse Kavanaugh of sexual misconduct.

"It sounded like he, and also the Crown Prince, had no knowledge", he said.

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In a "60 Minutes" interview that aired on Sunday, Trump said there would be consequences if it turned out Saudi Arabia had anything to do with Khashoggi's mysterious disappearance.

Meanwhile, Turkey's foreign ministry has said the consulate at the centre of the mystery was due to be examined by Saudi and Turkish officials.

The president's company, the Trump Organization, said shortly after his 2016 election that it had shut down those Saudi companies. However, they have not presented any evidence to corroborate their claim and say that video cameras at the consulate were not recording at the time.

The statement said the Saudi government "also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action", noting that its economy, as the world's biggest oil exporter, "has an influential and vital role in the global economy".

"The world is watching, the world is talking".

And he has swatted away multiple questions about whether his administration should cancel $110 billion in weapons sales to Saudi Arabia if the regime is found responsible for murdering Khashoggi.

"This is the same King Salman who told me after 9/11 that the 9/11 attacks were an Israeli plot", Jordan said. "I like them very much".

But a Turkish diplomatic source said it was expected that the search, a joint operation with Saudi authorities, would "take place towards the evening" Monday.

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

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