Khashoggi case: Turkey waiting to search Saudi consul house

Posted October 18, 2018

U.S. secretary of state Mike Pompeo is in Turkey for talks following a meeting with the Saudi king and the crown prince on Tuesday.

He offered his assessment after talks with the Saudi leadership and said the Crown Prince denied any knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish officials say they fear a Saudi hit team killed Khashoggi, who has been missing almost two weeks.

The residence of the Saudi consul is cordoned off by Turkish police in Istanbul, on October 16, 2018, the day after Turkish police and prosecutors searched the Saudi embassy after Riyadh gave the green-light amid global uproar over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi since October 2.

A Saudi contribution of $100 million to US -backed stabilization efforts in Syria arrived in American accounts Tuesday, just as State Mike Pompeo touched down in Riyadh to discuss the missing Saudi journalist, an anonymous USA official told The New York Times. "I don't want to get into his mind, but it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers", said Trump, adding that he hoped to get to the bottom of the matter soon. That doesn't mean the Saudis are denying Khashoggi was killed; it just means the crown prince was saying they didn't order it or sanction it.

The Turkish official also told AP that authorities were likely to search the consul general's home.

Trump said Monday the Saudis told him they're working closely with Turkey to find an answer.

Turkish officials have said Saudi agents killed Khashoggi.

The claim, which was first made to the New York Times earlier in the investigation, comes after Turkish officials searched the consulate for nine hours on Monday night.

The pro-government paper Sabah has reported that Khashoggi's Apple Watch recorded his interrogation, torture and killing, but some experts have said it was unlikely the watch could have recorded the events in that manner. The Saudis initially denied that this happened, but without any video evidence that he ever left the consulate, they've seemingly painted themselves into a corner.

But Riyadh insists that the journalist, a known critic of Saudi King Salman, had left the building and that murder claims are "baseless".

Overnight, Donald Trump compared the growing global condemnation of Saudi Arabia's alleged part in Mr Khashoggi's disappearance to his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh being accused of sexual assault.

A search was to be conducted on Tuesday of the Saudi consul's residence in Turkey, some 200 metres away from the consulate, where Khashoggi was last seen alive.

The US state department said Prince Mohammed agreed there must be a thorough and transparent investigation into the journalist's disappearance.

"They made a commitment that they would show the entire world the results of their investigation".

"This guy has got to go", Senator Lindsey Graham told Fox.

The case of Khashoggi, a journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, has become a major source of tension between Saudi Arabia and the West.