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Trump 'demanding' answers from Saudis on Jamal Khashoggi case

14 October 2018

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then had a follow-up call with the crown prince to reiterate the USA request for information.

Meanwhile on Tuesday, the Washington Post - for whom Khashoggi wrote columns after fleeing Saudi Arabia over fears of retribution for his critical commentary - reported that USA intelligence had intercepted communications of Saudi officials planning to abduct the prominent journalist.

Turkish officials said they had concrete evidence missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, with a friend of the prominent writer saying they think he might have been dismembered.

Khashoggi had written a series of columns for the Washington Post that were critical of Saudi Arabia's assertive Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has led a widely publicized drive to reform the Sunni monarchy but has also presided over the arrests of activists and businessmen.

Rand Paul on Wednesday said he plans to introduce a bill this week to cut off all military aid to Saudi Arabia until missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is returned alive.

For example, in one report it claimed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohamdad bin Salman has called Jared Kushner, senior advisor to the U.S. president.

Khashoggi has not been seen since entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2. TV channels broadcast videos of what they said were the men arriving at the airport and checking into hotels, as well as footage of vehicle traffic outside the consulate before and after Khashoggi's disappearance, including a black van with blacked out windows that the police find suspicious.

Al Jazeera also wondered why no official statements were issued by Saudi Arabia on the "Kingdom's keenness to protect the interest of its citizens".

Riyadh on Saturday dismissed accusations that authorities there had ordered Khashoggi be murdered by a hit squad inside its Istanbul consulate as "lies and baseless allegations". According to some reports, Ankara is considering the options of recalling its ambassador from Riyadh and expelling the Saudi envoy if the Saudis fail to provide a satisfactory explanation on Khashoggi's fate "within several days". She said Saudi authorities have not contacted her.

"If you want to lose Saudi Arabia as an ally, be careful what you wish for", Graham said in 2016.

Rebecca Vincent, the director of RSF's London office, said Saudi Arabia urgently needs to answer questions about his disappearance.

While speaking to reporters on his return from Hungary on thursday, Erdogan expressed disbelief at Saudi claims that Khashoggi disappeared without being recorded by security cameras after leaving the mission.

Saudi Arabia has remained silent as the images have played across television networks in Turkey and around the world.

"We would stop selling arms to Saudi Arabia in current circumstances until they changed their ways.We would be making it clear that we disagreed", she said.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo followed up with his own call to the crown prince, who had forged close ties to the administration, especially Kushner.

It also reported that Saudi intelligence agents realised after he died that the watch was recording and tried to delete the file, first by incorrectly guessing Mr Khashoggi's pin number on the watch, then later using the journalist's finger.

Both Turkey and Saudi Arabia are allies of the United States. "A part of that is what we're doing with our defense system and everybody's wanting them, and frankly, I think that would be a very, very tough pill to swallow for our country".

Trump 'demanding' answers from Saudis on Jamal Khashoggi case