Published: Tue, October 16, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

'Rogue Killers' May Have Murdered Saudi Journalist, Trump Suggests

'Rogue Killers' May Have Murdered Saudi Journalist, Trump Suggests

President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that Saudi Arabia's king strongly denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance.

Turkish police investigators entered Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate on Monday, two weeks after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"He didn't really know, maybe - I don't want to get into his mind but it sounded to me - maybe these could have been rogue killers".

Few details have emerged over how the joint working group will function, sparking suspicion that Saudi Arabia might be trying to coax Turkey with certain concessions at a time of the latter's economic problems. Those policies are all seen as initiatives of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman, who is next in line to the throne.

As the United States and Turkey have ratched up pressure on the kingdom, Saudi companies, officials and princes have also gone online in a wave of solidarity with the ruling family.

It has been reported that Turkish authorities have obtained audio and video recordings of the alleged murder.

Mr Khashoggi has not been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul over a week ago after apparently giving his fiancee his iPhone, which the watch was synced with.

On Monday, Saudi Arabia's King Salman ordered an investigation into the case.

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The issue has strained Saudi Arabia's ties with its closest Western allies.

Already, global business leaders are pulling out of the kingdom's upcoming investment forum, a high-profile event known as "Davos in the Desert", and the sell-off on Riyadh's Tadawul stock exchange showed that investors are uneasy.

Other executives such as Ford Motor Chairman Bill Ford and Uber Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi also won't attend the conference, according to the Wall Street Journal.

The US President today said he has spoken to Saudi Arabia's King Salman about the incident, suggesting that "rogue killers" could be responsible. Khashoggi's body was reportedly dismembered and smuggled out of the consulate building.

In an earlier phone call with Trump in April, King Salman reiterated Riyadh's position that Jerusalem must remain the capital of Palestine amid speculation that the kingdom had given up on the longstanding position.

On stage at Mipcom in Cannes on Monday, Endeavor CEO Ari Emanuel said he was "personally concerned" about the situation. He said that Saudi Arabia had made investments in hotels, manufacturing and real estate in the U.S. and that cutting these would "hurt the U.S. economy significantly".

On Sunday, Riyadh angrily rejected political and economic "threats" over the case of the missing journalist and said it would respond to any punitive action "with a bigger one". Khalaf Ahmad Al-Habtoor, an influential United Arab Emirates tycoon, called for an Arab boycott of all USA firms who have withdrawn from the conference.

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