Turkish police search forest, coastal city for Saudi journalist Khashoggi's remains

Roman Schwartz
October 19, 2018

Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, a high-ranking adviser to the crown prince, would be an extraordinary recognition of the magnitude of worldwide backlash to hit the kingdom since the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi dissident.

But Turkish officials claimed to have discovered evidence of a crime inside the consulate where Khashoggi was last seen.

Trump's remarks came after he was briefed on the investigation by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who returned from a trip to Saudi Arabia and Turkey. "We will share them with the world when they become fully clear because the whole world, understandably, wants to know what happened to Khashoggi and how it happened". The Saudi government has denied involvement.

A team of Turkish investigators searched the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for a second time as part of a probe into the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to an AFP correspondent.

So grave is the fallout from the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi that King Salman has felt compelled to intervene, five sources with links to the Saudi royal family said.

This year's event comes as Saudi Arabia faces intense global pressure following the disappearance and apparent death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen and US resident who has written critically of the Saudi regime.

Trump claimed he had "no financial interests in Saudi Arabia" after facing criticism for his response to Khashoggi's case.

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In Istanbul, a leaked surveillance photo showed a man who has been a member of the crown prince's entourage during trips overseas walking into the Saudi Consulate just before Khashoggi vanished there - timing that drew the kingdom's heir-apparent closer to the columnist's apparent demise.

If there was any doubt as to why the Saudis might think the leadership of this country would look the other way on the atrocity they are alleged to have committed against our colleague Jamal Khashoggi, President Trump erased it Thursday night.

In this "Trump, Inc." podcast extra, WNYC's Charlie Herman talks with The Washington Post's David Fahrenthold and Joe Nocera from Bloomberg Opinion about all the ways Saudi Arabia is intertwined with USA business interests, including those of the president himself.

When asked what the consequences should be if the Saudi regime is found to have ordered his murder, President Trump said: "Well, it'll have to be very severe". And a senior United States official said Pompeo had warned the Saudi crown prince that his credibility as a future leader was at stake, reflecting the administration's concern about how the case could affect relations.

Turkish investigators have told local media and also to the USA media that Khashoggi was brutally killed inside the consulate on October 2. "It's very sad", Trump told journalists when asked if he believed that Khashoggi is no longer alive.

Khashoggi disappeared on October 2 after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, sparking worldwide outcry and concern. I've seen no - or I've heard no tape.

Trump also said on Tuesday that the criticism against the Saudi Kingdom amid the Khashoggi investigation was another instance of "guilty until proven innocent".

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