Washington Post publishes Jamal Khashoggi's 'last' column before his disappearance

18 October, 2018, 06:20 | Author: Corey Lynch
  • Trump Speaks to Saudi King, Sends Pompeo for Follow-Up

I hope that the Saudi King and Crown Prince didn't know about it (Khashoggi).

Swaths of USA executives have declined to attend the Future Investment Initiative conference next week.

And Trump ally Senator Marco Rubio (Republican-Florida) called the situation a "catastrophe" for the Saudis that will "alter the relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia for the foreseeable future".

The newspaper said one of the Saudis torturing Khashoggi replied: "Shut up if you want to live when you return to (Saudi) Arabia".

"We have asked for it, if it exists", US President Donald Trump said. There has been no such correction.

An official close to the investigation told DW's Julia Hahn that there was proof the journalist "was killed" and that findings "match the evidence at the Saudi consulate" which was searched by investigators earlier this week.

Mr Khashoggi is a United States resident and columnist for the Washington Post newspaper who went into self-imposed exile past year after reportedly being warned by Saudi officials to stop criticising the crown prince's policies.

But in the last few days, as major USA businesses and media companies have withdrawn from a marquee investment conference in Riyadh, the United States, Turkey and Saudi Arabia appear to have been searching for a face-saving way out.

Trump's assessment came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo completed visits to Saudi Arabia and Turkey for talks with the Saudi leaders and with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu about the disappearance of Khashoggi, who was last seen October 2 walking into the Saudi consulate.

Murder could be a game-changer, he adds, but foreign policy is often more pragmatic than principled.

Trump also said he expected to get a full report from Pompeo when he returned. The Saudi envoy left Istanbul for Riyadh on Tuesday.

Turkish sources told Reuters earlier this week that the authorities have an audio recording indicating that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate and that they were sharing it with countries including Saudi Arabia and the United States.

On Monday, after speaking with King Salman, President Donald Trump floated the possibility that Khashoggi was the victim of "rogue killers".

"If a country engages in activity that is unlawful it's unacceptable", Pompeo said.

Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi policies and columnist for the Washington Post who was living in the United States, vanished after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get marriage documents.

Pompeo, heading back to Washington, told reporters that the USA needs "to know the facts before we can begin to formulate what the appropriate response" would be if Saudi Arabia is responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance.

On Tuesday, a high-level Turkish official told the AP that police found "certain evidence" of Khashoggi's slaying at the consulate, without elaborating.

The newspaper said Saudi Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi could be heard on the tape, telling those allegedly torturing Khashoggi: "Do this outside; you're going to get me in trouble".

Turkish police have arrived at the residence of the Saudi consul in Istanbul to conduct a search over the disappearance and alleged slaying of writer Jamal Khashoggi.

And a New York Times report says three of the suspects in the alleged Saudi "hit squad" served as part of the Crown Prince's security team.

Radio Sputnik's Loud and Clear spoke about the development of the affair with Thomas Lippmann, an award-winning journalist and author who has written about Middle Eastern affairs and USA foreign policy for more than 40 years, specializing in Saudi issues.

But this is the first time Turkish media have claimed to have heard the recording.

U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said his plans to attend an investment conference in Riyadh next week would be revisited on Thursday after U.S. officials have a chance to consult Pompeo.



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