Britain, France, Germany call for 'credible investigation' into Khashoggi disappearance

Larry Hoffman
October 15, 2018

Top U.S. senators are triggering an investigation into the disappearance of a prominent Saudi journalist that will require President Donald Trump to consider possible sanctions on officials in Saudi Arabia.

Reportedly, Turkish authorities say a team of Saudis killed Khashoggi, and US intelligence intercepts show Saudi officials discussing an operation to lure Khashoggi - a Saudi citizen who had been living in the United States - back to Saudi Arabia from his home in Virginia and detain him.

The disappearance of journalist and US resident Jamal Khashoggi after visiting a Saudi consulate in Turkey has thrown the large number of diplomatic vacancies under President Donald Trump into the spotlight - notably in Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

One Turkish security official told The New York Times that within two hours of arriving at the consulate, Khashoggi had been killed and dismembered with a bone saw that the Saudi team had brought.

Khashoggi has been a prominent critic of Riyadh and a USA resident who has written columns for the Washington Post.

He also said the United States was working "very closely" with Turkey, adding, "I think we'll get to the bottom of it". He had been living in the United States since previous year, in self-imposed exile, partly because of the rise of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has shown little tolerance for criticism.

Khashoggi has been missing ever since cameras captured him going inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

"The kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action, and that the kingdom's economy has an influential and vital role in the global economy".

The search will take place as part of the official investigation, which was being conducted "in an intense manner", he said without giving any date. Saudi Arabia, however, insists that Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after he arrived.

The footage from Istanbul's Atatürk Airport purportedly shows Saudi intelligence officers entering and leaving on two private jets.

Khashoggi disappeared earlier this month after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents to marry his Turkish fiancée, who waited outside.

Police also said a team of 15 Saudis were sent to Istanbul and were in the building at the same time as Khashoggi. The project is expected to be located along the Red Sea shore and will be linked with both Saudi Arabia and Jordan.

Cengiz says she was questioned by Turkish investigators after the disappearance and has had a few calls with officials since. It was published by a Turkish newspaper yesterday.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo also said US officials have raised the matter with their Saudi counterparts.

"The Saudis have a lot of explaining to do because all indications are that they have been involved at minimum with his disappearance", Corker told The Associated Press. The Saudi government has dismissed that allegation. The Saudis denied any involvement despite the mounting evidence suggesting that they were indeed involved.

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