Turkish police search Saudi consulate again in Khashoggi case

Turkish police search Saudi consulate again in Khashoggi case

The timing comes as Saudi Arabia and Turkey investigate the alleged murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi columnist for the Washington Post.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he told President Donald Trump on Thursday that Saudi Arabia should be given a few more days to complete its investigation into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi before the USA decides "how, or if" to respond. "I will be forever grateful he chose The Post as his final journalistic home one year ago and gave us the chance to work together". Khashoggi had left the country previous year amid the rise of Prince Mohammed, whom he wrote critically about in the Post.

Turkish police on Wednesday began searching the residence of the Saudi consul in Istanbul for their investigation, with forensics experts in white overalls entering the building, an AFP correspondent said.

Khashoggi entered the Saudi mission to obtain the required paperwork for marrying his fiancée, who claims she waited outside the consulate for 11 hours but did not see him come out.

Turkish government sources have said police believe the journalist was killed by a special team of 15 Saudi officials sent to Istanbul especially for the task.

Evidence has grown that Khashoggi may have been murdered, with Turkish media reporting that audio recordings indicate he was tortured and his body dismembered.

The Saudi government, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has denied any involvement.

Also on Thursday, Russian President Vladimir Putin took a similar line, saying there isn't enough information about what happened to Khashoggi to justify cutting Moscow-Riyadh ties.

Confirming that the tape said to provide evidence of the killing had been requested, Mr Trump added: "I'm not sure yet that it exists, probably does, possibly does".

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He said that with more than $100 billion in arms sales in play and with Saudi Arabia being "a bulwark against Iran", now is not the time to alienate a Middle Eastern ally.

Khashoggi also praised the Washington Post for its translation of his columns into Arabic, but ultimately, he argued what is most needed is an independent speech platform for ordinary Arab people.

His demand came as he expressed support for Saudi Arabia, a long-time USA ally, and said he expects its investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance would be completed by the end of the week.

Media captionCCTV footage shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Mr Mutreb, perhaps a bodyguard, has been photographed emerging from planes with Prince Mohammed on recent trips to Madrid and Paris, the newspaper reported.

Liam Fox, the global trade secretary, has pulled out of next week's "Davos in the Desert" summit in Riyadh amid allegations that Saudi Arabia murdered Jamal Khashoggi, the missing journalist.

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".

On Tuesday, G7 foreign ministers called for Saudi Arabia to conduct a "transparent" investigation into the issue.

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