Published: Fri, October 19, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Trump sending Pompeo 'immediately' to meet Saudi king over missing journalist

Trump sending Pompeo 'immediately' to meet Saudi king over missing journalist

WASHINGTON-Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was directed to travel to Saudi Arabia Monday to discuss the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi with the country's leaders.

Cable news outlet CNN quotes unnamed sources saying Saudi Arabia is preparing to admit that journalist Jamal Khashoggi died during an interrogation which was carried out without clearance at the consulate building in Istanbul.

After gathering information from the Turks and the joint team, "the feeling from the leadership was we needed an internal investigation to make sure we're getting the right story here", the Saudi official said. He didn't really know, maybe, I don't want to get into his mind but it sounded to me like maybe it could have been rogue killers, who knows?

If that group is to be characterized as part of a rogue operation meant to bring Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia alive, questions could arise about Salah Muhammed al-Tubaiqi.

The prince, ambitious, aggressive and just 33 in a kingdom long ruled by aging monarchs, has considerable weight in Saudi government actions.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia considered delaying the Saudi investment conference until after the investigation, according to a source with direct knowledge of the situation.

Media reported that Turkish investigators believe the journalist was murdered inside the consulate, but Saudi Arabia claims that Khashoggi went missing after he left the building. A Saudi delegation had entered the consulate one hour before the Turkish police arrived and appeared still to be inside as the search was conducted.

However, the White House brushed aside the Saudi threats, pledging a "swift, open, transparent investigation" into the journalist's disappearance.

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Those policies are all seen as initiatives of the crown prince.

"It has yet again shown the world that the Saudi government doesn't care about the law, doesn't care about basic human dignity, basic ethos of protecting people who enter your consulate, much less a prominent journalist", Whitson said.

Saudi Arabia has called the accusations "baseless".

The official said the prosecutor had been instructed to work quickly.

"We're going to try get to the bottom of it very soon, but his was a flat denial", Mr Trump said.

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

Turkish officials have accused Saudi Arabia of sending in a 15-man team to interrogate, kill, and dismember Khashoggi's body with a bone saw before flying it back to his native country.

Turkish officials had speculated that the Saudi government would blame "rogue" elements of its security services as a way of insulating Mohammed bin Salman, the crown prince, from global criticism. Despite being anxious for his safety, he had gone into the consulate in Istanbul to get a document necessary to marry his Turkish fiancee, the partner and friends have said.

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