Published: Sun, October 14, 2018
Markets | By Noel Gibbs

Donald Trump vows 'severe punishment' if Saudi Arabia murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Donald Trump vows 'severe punishment' if Saudi Arabia murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi

A joint statement of condemnation, if it is confirmed that Mr Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents, is also being discussed by U.S. and European diplomats. Last Saturday, the consulate in Istanbul announced the arrival of a security delegation consisting of Saudi investigators, and with the consent of the Turkish side, to participate in the investigations into the disappearance of the Saudi citizen.

Writing in the New York Times, Ms Cengiz said her fiance did not express any fears about going to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to sort out some paperwork ahead of their wedding. Saudi officials call the allegations "baseless", but have offered no evidence Khashoggi ever left the consulate.

Trump added that even if Riyadh was found to be behind the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, a writer who had become critical of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

After saying earlier on Saturday there would be "consequences" for Saudi Arabia, he later softened his tone when speaking to reporters.

The journalist was last seen there on October 2.

US President Donald Trump called Khashoggi's suspected killing "a awful thing", but stopped short of assigning blame.

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But, he has told CBS' "60 Minutes", "Could it be them?"

"There's something - you'll be surprised to hear me say that - there's something really awful and disgusting about that if that were the case, so we're going to have to see.

We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment". Senator Rand Paul called for Trump to "immediately halt arms sales and military support". "And you know what, there are other ways of punishing, to use a word that's a pretty harsh word, but it's true".

Sabah, which cited "reliable sources in a special intelligence department" for its report, said Khashoggi was believed to have turned on the recording feature on the watch before entering the consulate.

The newspaper's account also did not elaborate on how the Apple Watch synced the information to both the phone and iCloud account.

Human rights activists and friends of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi hold his pictures during a protest outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 8, 2018.

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But speaking to 60 minutes on Saturday, he warned the United States would be "very upset and angry" if the Saudis ordered Mr Khashoggi's killing.

USA lawmakers have threatened to block weapons sales to Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi's suspected murder, but Trump has been reluctant to stall lucrative arms exports to the regime.

If confirmed, the recording would represent the strongest evidence that Turkish authorities have to show that Mr Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, for his part, described the Saudi government's comments as unconvincing and urged Riyadh to prove that they have nothing to do with the incident.

The disappearance of Khashoggi has put the spotlight on the close relationship which Trump's family has nurtured with the Saudi kingdom.

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