Turkish probe of Khashoggi killing turns to garden well

Turkish probe of Khashoggi killing turns to garden well

Turkish probe of Khashoggi killing turns to garden well

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who has been trying to coax Trump into ending arms sales to Saudi Arabia, said Monday that it's "laughable" to believe the crown prince was not involved in Khashoggi's death.

The prince, faced with mounting worldwide censure, appeared relaxed as he shared the stage with Lebanon's prime minister-designate Saad Hariri and Bahrain's Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad.

"Hours later, Prince Mohammed bounded into the gilded conference hall of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Riyadh to a standing ovation from scores of oil executives, bankers and other businessmen who had risked association with scandal over the killing of Mr. Khashoggi for a chance to profit from the kingdom's vast wealth".

Martin Indyk, a top Middle East policymaker under former president Bill Clinton, said Trump had in effect tried to subcontract policy in the region to Saudi Arabia and Israel as he lessens United States commitments.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman eased the air of formality with a sense of humor when he pointed out that Lebanon's designate Prime Minister who was sitting next to him was scheduled to stay in Riyadh for another two more days, adding: "I hope no rumors will spread that he is being kidnapped". But a solution seems a long way off, partly because of deepening skepticism in Turkey and elsewhere that the brazen crime could have been carried out without the knowledge of Prince Mohammed, the kingdom's heir apparent.

This week Turkish President Erdogan said Turkey had strong evidence the journalist was killed in a premeditated and "savage" murder and has called for the suspects to be tried in Istanbul.

But while the guest list for last year's bonanza read like a who's-who of the global business elite, the run-up to Tuesday's event has been marred by pull-outs from a stream of Western investors and politicians, including Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and International Monetary Fund chair Christine Lagarde.

Trump, in an interview with The Wall Street Journal published yesterday, insulated 82-year-old King Salman from blame but pointedly did not shield the crown prince, known by his initials MBS.

Riyadh's changing narrative over what happened inside the consulate on October 2 has met with deep scepticism overseas.

Faced with calls from USA lawmakers across the political spectrum for tough measures, the State Department said it had identified 21 Saudis either whose visas would be revoked or who would be ineligible for future visas.

In an internal e-mail sent widely to US State Department employees, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US wants flawless clarity on exactly what happened in the death of Khashoggi.

Pro-government media reported yesterday that Turkish intelligence has shared "all the evidence" over the murder of Khashoggi with the CIA chief during a visit.

Investigators found two suitcases containing documents and a laptop the previous day after permission to search the vehicle was granted by the Saudi team, Turkish state news reported.

Representatives of the CIA and Turkish intelligence have declined to comment on Haspel's review of the recording.

The whereabouts of Khashoggi's corpse is still unknown. Prime Minister Theresa May said on Wednesday that Britain would prevent all suspects in the killing from entering the country, shortly before she spoke to King Salman.

Mr Trump had previously backed the Saudi's official explanation, characterising the Arab state as a great ally and an important purchaser of U.S. tanks, bombs and planes.

"It is not over yet", he said.

"Even if US President Trump saves Salman, in the eyes of the world he is a questionable person with Khashoggi's blood on his hands", Mr Cevik's column said.

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