Saudis said ready to concede writer was slain in botched interrogation

17 Octobre, 2018, 11:09 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
  • Saudis said ready to concede writer was slain in botched interrogation

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo says Saudi Arabia told him their investigation into the disappearance and alleged killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi won't spare anyone, including royals.

Khashoggi was a columnist for the US Washington Post newspaper, which reacted to his demise by publishing articles under the headlines "Who needs Saudi Arabia?" and "Has [crown prince and de facto ruler] Mohammed bin Salman finally gone too far?"

"I don't like the concept of stopping an investment of US$110 billion into the United States because you know what they're going to do?" I don't like that.

Trump compared the case of Jamal Khashoggi, a missing journalist who was critical of the Saudi monarchy, with the case of his recent Supreme Court nominee who faced sexual abuse allegations. The Senate ultimately voted to confirm Kavanaugh earlier this month.

Trump told reporters on Monday that he spoke with the Saudi king, who has "firmly denied" any knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts.

Khashoggi was dragged from the Consul General's office at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and onto the table of his study next door, the Turkish source said.

Khashoggi, an outspoken critic of Saudi policy, has not been seen since he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said the kingdom is weighing whether to say that rogue operatives killed Khashoggi by mistake during an interrogation.

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"My hope is that we can reach conclusions that will give us a reasonable opinion as soon as possible, because the investigation is looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over", he said.

The president described the denial as "very, very strong" and raised the possibility that "rogue killers" may have been involved.

US President Donald Trump speaks before boarding Marine One from the South Lawn of the White House in Washington, DC on October 15, 2018.

A Turkish diplomatic source said the investigators planned to widen their search on Tuesday to the residence of the Saudi consul. Under intense pressure from Washington and business leaders around the world, Riyadh now appears to be preparing to acknowledge that Mr Khashoggi was in fact killed inside the consulate.

Saudi Arabia has made no official statement about the men or said why they may have been in Istanbul on October 2.

The State Department has urged a thorough investigation and called on Saudi Arabia to be transparent about the results - advice broadly tracking messages from allies in Europe.

Simone van Nieuwenhuizen, an Australia-based researcher of China-Middle East relations, said China would be "extremely unlikely" to follow USA sanctions if they were levelled against Saudi Arabia, but may not necessarily increase trade with the country either.

Trump's comments came after a telephone conversation with King Salman, father of the crown prince, the first such talks since the crisis erupted. He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul where he went to receive papers he needed to remarry. "If they knew about it, that would be bad".

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