Published: Sat, October 20, 2018
Worldwide | By Stella Potter

White House, senators increase pressure over Saudi writer

White House, senators increase pressure over Saudi writer

Jordan went on to suggest it's "quite possible" King Salman didn't know of Khashoggi's attack.

Turkish officials have said they fear a Saudi hit team that flew into and out of Turkey on October 2 killed and dismembered Khashoggi, who had written Washington Post columns critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

U.S. President Donald Trump gave Saudi Arabia the benefit of the doubt in the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi even as senior U.S. lawmakers pointed the finger at the Saudi leadership and Western pressure mounted on Riyadh to provide answers.

President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that Saudi Arabia's king strongly denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance.

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it", Trump told reporters. "We're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment", Trump said. Until now, Riyadh has not allowed Turkish investigators to search the consulate - officially Saudi territory - with reports both sides were at odds over the conditions. "The King has ordered the public prosecutor to open an internal investigation into the Khashoggi matter based on the info from the joint team in Istanbul", said the official.

On Monday Turkish and Saudi officials began a search of the consulate. Saudi Arabia has called such allegations "baseless" but has not proved the writer ever left the consulate.

CNN received no response when reaching out to the CEO, managing director and organizers of the conference about whether a delay had been discussed. This news comes amid mounting global outcry that Saudi Arabia explain Khashoggi's shocking disappearance, after Turkish officials accused the Saudis of assassinating Khashoggi, dismembering him and smuggling body parts out of the consulate.

The Turkish official said evidence showing that Khashoggi had been killed was being shared with countries including Saudi Arabia and the United States.

UNITED is the target for investment from Saudi Arabia and a potential takeover.

Britain, France and Germany also demanded a "credible investigation".

In columns published by The Washington Post, the 59-year-old has spoken out against the kingdom's policies toward Qatar and Canada, as well as the Saudi-led intervention in the Yemen conflict.

"There would be ways of saying that this was a rendition gone wrong and that this whole operation was rogue and wasn't approved at the highest level", he said.

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

The White House is brushing aside threats by Saudi Arabia that it may economically retaliate for any US punitive action imposed over the suspected murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, pledging a "swift, open, transparent investigation" into his disappearance.

The inspection was agreed after a Saudi delegation of a dozen officials arrived in Turkey while Saudi King Salman and Turkish President Recep Erdogan spoke on the phone yesterday. Several business leaders and media outlets have backed out of the upcoming investment conference in Riyadh, called the Future Investment Initiative.

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