Khashoggi was tortured before being killed

Jeannie Matthews
October 18, 2018

"Do this outside. You will put me in trouble", al-Otaibi, the consul, told them, according to the Turkish official and the report in Yeni Safak, both citing audio recordings said to have been obtained by Turkish intelligence.

Trump said he is relying on Saudi and Turkish officials to conduct the investigation into Khashoggi's whereabouts, but Attorney General Jeff Sessions said yesterday that the Justice Department could also get involved.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has suggested parts of the consulate had been repainted since the disappearance of the journalist, who was a critic of the Saudi regime.

Turkish officials said it was possible that the passport scans of the remaining eight members of the team will be released at a later date. It described the 60-year-old Washington Post columnist as having his fingers cut off and being decapitated after entering the consulate.

As Saudi Arabia's green national flag flapped overhead, forensics teams entered the residence, located slightly more than a mile from the consulate where Khashoggi vanished October 2 while trying to pick up paperwork to get married.

The Kingdom is attempting to distance Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from the murder by saying it was "unintentional"-the result of a "botched operation" by rogue Saudi agents". "Here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent".

What's remarkable about this statement is that, once again, Trump seems to be taking the word of an authoritarian leader - in this case, granted, a longstanding USA ally - over his own intelligence community.

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His comments came as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Tuesday with the crown prince in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. Saudi Arabia has denied the charges as "baseless". "I'm not sure yet that it exists", Trump said at the White House. "They also indicated they would get this done quickly", Pompeo said before arriving, adding the Saudis vowed that no one would have immunity.

Again on Twitter, President Trump yesterday tweeted: "For the record, I have no financial interests in Saudi Arabia (or Russian Federation, for that matter).

We will remain in close contact with Saudi and Turkish authorities as they complete this process and ultimately announce their findings", Pompeo said in the statement.

On Oct. 2, Khashoggi went to the consulate general of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul for some documents.

A team of Turkish police spent more than nine hours in the consulate on October 15 and October 16 and the Associated Press reported that they found "certain evidence" about the killing of the prominent Saudi dissident.

Asked how President Donald Trump should respond to the matter, Graham said it was up to Trump, but "I know what I'm going to do".

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