Turkish experts invited to Saudi Consulate for probe

US needs answers on Saudi journalist Washington Post

US needs answers on Saudi journalist Washington Post

Turkey said it would search Saudi Arabia's consulate.

Khashoggi was driven from there to Riyadh, and was held there, the source said.

Democrats looking to build a case against President Donald Trump ahead of next month's elections have begun using dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi's mysterious disappearance at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as ammunition.

Mr Khashoggi had gone to the consulate to collect divorce papers relating to his previous marriage, leaving his fiancee with his Saudi phone on the street outside.

Saudi Arabia, naturally, has denied any involvement.

"We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate", an unnamed source told Reuters.

They allege he was tortured, killed and cut into pieces.

Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the US, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, said claims Khashoggi had been killed or detained by Saudi authorities were 'absolutely false, and baseless, ' according to a statement provided to CNN.

Saudi Arabia has always been a pillar of USA policy in the Middle East, and while the relationship was rocky during President Obama's tenure, Trump has embraced Riyadh.

"We agree if there was any truth to the allegations of wrongdoing by the Saudi government it would be devastating to the US-Saudi relationship and there will be a heavy price to be paid - economically and otherwise". We're also joined by Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink, who knew Khashoggi and is the author of "Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S. -Saudi Connection".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday asked Riyadh to prove its claim that Khashoggi had left the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, while Washington urged Saudi Arabia to support an investigation into his disappearance.

What evidence has been released?

Flight records reportedly show that a Gulf Stream IV private jet, tail number HZ-SK2, landed in Istanbul at 3am on October 2, the day Mr Khashoggi disappeared. A photograph taken from a Turkish police closed-circuit television camera outside the residence and obtained by The Washington Post shows a Mercedes Vito van with tinted windows that security officials say transported some of those men from the consulate to the residence about two hours after Khashoggi entered the consulate.

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His fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, had waited outside.

The van, which had diplomatic number plates, left in a convoy around two hours after Khashoggi entered. Security footage shows boxes were loaded into the van.

"Embassy employees or consulate employees have plenty of time to clean a potential crime scene, and if there was a crime, they certainly would have done that", Federal Bureau of Investigation veteran Martin Reardon told the ABC's The World program.

"The request that America made to Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries is to be sure that if there is any loss of supply from Iran, that we will supply that".

Saudi Arabian officials have invited Turkish experts and related officials to visit its consulate in Istanbul.

Vice President Mike Pence echoed the president's remarks and said the worldwide community "deserves answers".

The September 2017 arrests took place shortly before the kingdom announced it was lifting a decades-long ban on women drivers, seen as a sign that the ultra-conservative nation may be heading towards a more "modern" society.

"For them, that's a great signal", he said.

Turkish officials have suggested Khashoggi was murdered.

"We expect a full-out investigation and full transparency from Saudi authorities on what happened", Mogherini said. "Consulate officials can not save themselves by simply saying 'he has left, '" Erdogan told a news conference in Budapest, where he is on an official visit. "Why don't you prove it, you have to prove it". "You have to prove it".

Global pressure is also ramping up on Saudi Arabia to cooperate with the probe.

"At this time, I implore President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal's disappearance", she said. Spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said in Geneva that it would be "truly shocking" if reports of his death are confirmed.

However, activists protesting outside the consulate said more needed to be done.

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