Jamal Khashoggi: Recording emerges of journalist 'torture and murder'

Mae Love
October 17, 2018

Turkish authorities have said they believe 15 Saudi men-government officials and intelligence officers-who arrived in Istanbul the day Khashoggi disappeared are tied to his suspected murder.

Saudi Arabia has committed to conducting a complete investigation into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said on Wednesday before departing the kingdom for Turkey.

Graham's comments came after CNN reported on Monday evening that Saudi officials were preparing to release a potential statement acknowledging that Khashoggi had been killed in the consulate, despite initially denying involvement and claiming without evidence that Khashoggi had left the building unharmed.

The dissident journalist was killed minutes after he arrived at the building to pick up marriage paperwork on 2 October, according to United States and Turkish press reports of what the officials say are audio recordings that prove he was beaten and drugged, then brutally killed and dismembered. Khashoggi vanished on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

A team of Turkish investigators entered the Saudi consul's residence on Wednesday after delays.

Turkish officials say they believe Saudi agents killed and dismembered Khashoggi and say Turkey has audio and video recordings of it.

After speaking with the king, Trump floated the idea that "rogue killers" may have been responsible for the disappearance.

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After his talks in Riyadh on Tuesday, Pompeo was expected in Turkey today to meet Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

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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.

It comes after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo flew to Riyadh in a bid to put pressure on the Saudi regime.

A Turkish diplomatic source had earlier said a joint Turkish-Saudi team would search the building - the last place Khashoggi was seen before he vanished on October 2.

Following Turkish investigators' examination of the Saudi consulate on Monday, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told reporters that officials are looking into the possible presence of "toxic materials" inside the Saudi consulate and whether those materials were "removed by painting them over".

A source has claimed Jamal Khashoggi was butchered alive in a brutal seven-minute execution after reportedly hearing audio of the missing journalist's horrifying last moments.

"We just went through that with Justice Kavanaugh and he was innocent all the way as far as I'm concerned", Trump told the AP.

"I heard that report, but nobody knows if it's an official report", Trump told reporters, without elaborating.

On Monday, US Trump speculated "rogue killers" were to blame after revealing the Saudi king denied any murder plot during a phone conversation between the pair last night.

"His denial to me could not have been stronger", Trump said, echoing language he has used to describe Russian President Vladimir Putin's denials of meddling in the 2016 election that sent Trump to the White House.

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