Trump suggests ‘rogue killers’ in writer case

A protest at the Embassy of Saudi Arabia about the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi

The Washington Post, to which Khashoggi contributed as a columnist, has said the Turkish government had told U.S. officials it had audio and video recordings showing how Khashoggi was "interrogated, tortured and then murdered" by a 15-member Saudi security team inside the consulate before his body was dismembered.

Donald Trump says he has spoken to King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud for about 20 minutes about the Jamal Khashoggi case.

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.

Turkish crime scene investigators dressed in coveralls and gloves entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Monday, almost two weeks after the disappearance and alleged slaying of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi there.

Turkish officials have said authorities believe he was killed at the Saudi mission, and his body removed.

Salman denied "any knowledge of whatever may have happened" to Khashoggi and told him the Saudis are working closely with Turkey on the case, Trump wrote.

The Saudi acceptance came after the kingdom on Sunday threatened retaliation for any sanctions it could face over Khashoggi.

Trump has said he does not want to halt a proposed $110-billion USA arms sale to Saudi Arabia because, he maintained, it would harm U.S. manufacturers.

Turkish diplomatic sources had said the consulate would be searched by a joint Turkish-Saudi team.

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

Trump says he doesn't "want to get" into King Salman's mind, but says, "it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers".

Saudi officials arrive at the the consulate in Istanbul where Mr Khashoggi was last seen.

The king also said Turkey and Saudi Arabia enjoy close relations and "that no one will get to undermine the strength of this relationship", according to a statement on the state-run Saudi Press Agency.

The UK, Germany and France have demanded a credible investigation into the disappearance.

"Global investors are seriously reconsidering their deals with Saudi Arabia due to pressure from the media and their customers", Günter Meyer, the Director of the Centre for Research on the Arab World at the University of Mainz, told DW.

The sales are a "tremendous order for our companies", and if the Saudis don't buy their weaponry from the USA, they will get it from others, he said.

"Listen I am concerned", he said.

On Sunday and early Monday, a trio of Wall Street's most powerful executives-JPMorgan Chase & Co.

"The Kingdom also affirms that if it receives any action, it will respond with greater action", the source added.

The crown prince, ambitious, aggressive and just 33 in a kingdom long ruled by aging monarchs, has considerable weight in Saudi government actions.



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