Saudis preparing to acknowledge journalist died after interrogation 'went wrong'

Alicia Cross
October 16, 2018

Turkish officials believe Mr Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate by Saudi agents almost two weeks ago but Riyadh has always strongly denied this. Turkish officials say they believe he was murdered there and his body removed, in a case that has provoked an worldwide outcry.

CNN reported Monday, citing sources, that "Saudis are preparing a report that will acknowledge that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, one that was meant to lead to his abduction from Turkey".

Sanders' announcement came just before CNN reported on Monday that the Saudis are preparing to admit for the first time that Khashoggi was killed, but they will insist that the killing was the accidental result of a botched "interrogation".

President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that he was aware of the report but did not know if it was correct.

There was also a suggestion they had meant to abduct Khashoggi and take him to Saudi Arabia.

Aleksandar Mitreski, a security and defence analyst, said Saudi Arabia cannot control the worldwide narrative but can try to alleviate the most damaging fallout.

So far it still remains unclear how Trump would "punish" the kingdom economically over the journalist's disappearance, but major figures in the US Congress, such as Florida Senator Marco Rubio, have suggested halting arms sales to Saudi Arabia.

Mr. Trump said he did not want to get into what was in King Salman's mind. "Who knows?" Trump told reporters at the White House.

Trump quoted the King on Monday as saying that neither he nor his son, the crown prince, had any information about what had happened to Khashoggi. The third individual said the USA government still doesn't know precisely what explanation the Saudis plan to give, but that the Saudis intend to admit "culpability".

"Absolutely extraordinary they were able to enlist the President of the United States as their PR agent to float it".

Trump said Pompeo may go to Turkey after Saudi Arabia.

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The president has sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to Saudi Arabia to investigate the disappearance.

Radio Sputnik's Loud & Clear spoke with Mansour Al-Hadj, a Washington-based researcher who sits on the board of directors of the Center for Democracy and Human Rights in Saudi Arabia, who told them the Khashoggi case might not dissuade Western experts from going to work in Riyadh, but it could keep Saudi students overseas from returning to the country.

Khashoggi has written extensively for the Post about Saudi Arabia, criticizing its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women's rights activists after the lifting of a driving ban for women.

A Turkish security source has told the BBC that officials have audio and video evidence proving Mr Khashoggi was murdered inside the building.

"Since Saudi arms are being used to ravage Yemen and they are apparently complicit in the disappearance of Mr. Khashoggi, I can not support President Trump's proposed arms sale", Durbin said. European allies have urged "a credible investigation" and accountability for those responsible.

Khashoggi, a familiar face on Arab talk shows, moved to the United States previous year fearing retribution for his criticism of Prince Mohammed, who has cracked down on dissent with arrests.

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.

Khashoggi has been missing since he stepped inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Writing for Al Arabiya yesterday, Mr Aldakhil said: "If US sanctions are imposed on Saudi Arabia, we will be facing an economic disaster that would rock the entire world".

The Saudi stock market dropped more than 6.8 percent after the statement.

His disappearance has led to strong global condemnation of Saudi Arabia, and that condemnation is now starting to trickle over into the business world.

Other reports by Free-Prsite

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