Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Saudi leadership ordered Khashoggi's murder, Turkey says

Saudi leadership ordered Khashoggi's murder, Turkey says

It's a very bad situation. "We want to see what's going on. We can't let this happen".

Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) told reporters Wednesday that the Senate would "take some action" regarding the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Politico reported.

Once Mr. Trump has determined "whether a foreign person is responsible for an extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violation of internationally recognized human rights against an individual exercising freedom of expression", according to the letter, he must report to the committee within 120 days with a decision on the imposition of retaliatory sanctions.

The official told the Times the assassination was ordered at the highest levels of the Saudi royal court. "Before I discuss this I'd have to find out what happened", he said.

Mr Trump said that he wanted to invite Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, to the White House, in a step that is likely to be taken as a personal rebuke to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's effective ruler, who was previously regarded as an ally of the Trump administration. "We will continue to monitor this situation and provide updates as available", White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said in a statement. Robin Wright, a scholar at the Wilson Center think tank and close friend of the missing writer, said that's unlikely to change.

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Trump made Saudi Arabia the first stop on his first foreign trip as president in May 2017, but in recent weeks has appeared to sour a bit on Riyadh, complaining directly to King Salman about the cost of American support for the Saudi military and for OPEC oil price increases.

One of the 15 Saudis identified by name and photo in the report by Sabah newspaper is reportedly a senior forensic expert.

They say Khashoggi left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he was attempting to finalize his divorce, shortly after he arrived.

On Wednesday, State Department spokesman Robert Palladino said the United States "had no advance knowledge" of such a plan.

Aksam newspaper also published blurred photos of a jet arriving in Istanbul before dawn on October 2, carrying what it said were nine members of the Saudi team, as well as images of some of them checking in at a hotel.

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"And so to me it feels very much like some nefarious activity has occurred by them", Corker added, according to The Beast.

"I have no thought of leaving Turkey, simply because I do not have a passport", he said.

U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said on Wednesday the United States was ready to help in any way in the investigation.

They reportedly took CCTV footage from the consulate with them back to Riyadh, while Turkish staff at the consulate were told to take holiday the day Khashoggi arrived.

The Turkish Daily Sabah has released the identities of the Saudi operatives, who had apparently travelled from Riyadh to Istanbul on two private jets and entered the Saudi mission on October 2 as Khashoggi entered the building.

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A former US intelligence official - who, like others, spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the sensitive matter - noted that the details of the operation, which involved sending two teams totaling 15 men, in two private aircraft arriving and departing Turkey at different times, bore the hallmarks of a "rendition", in which someone is extralegally removed from one country and deposited for interrogation in another.

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