Bipartisan Senate Group Forces U.S. Probe of Saudi Journalist's Disappearance

A screenshot of the report published by Turkish newspaper Sabah showing the faces of the 15 men taken at passport control

A screenshot of the report published by Turkish newspaper Sabah showing the faces of the 15 men taken at passport control

Turkish officials say they fear Saudi Arabia killed and dismembered Khashoggi but have offered no evidence beyond video footage of the journalist entering the consulate and the arrival in the country of what they describe as a 15-member Saudi team that allegedly targeted him. The Saudi government is suspected of kidnapping or assassinating him for his criticism of the royal dynasty.

President Donald Trump said he has talked to officials in Saudi Arabia at the highest levels about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and wants the USA to get to the bottom of the matter. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.

Speaking to reporters, Trump said he saw no reason to block Saudi purchases of US arms or its investments in the United States despite the journalist's case, saying the Gulf nation would just move its money into Russian Federation and China. Relations were already strained after Turkey sent troops to the Gulf state of Qatar past year in a show of support after its Gulf neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, imposed an embargo on Doha.

Khashoggi, a former Saudi government adviser, had been living in the United States since a year ago fearing arrest.

Turkey can not remain silent over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, President Tayyip Erdogan was quoted as saying by Hurriyet newspaper on Thursday, adding Turkey is investigating all aspects of the case.

In his columns for the Washington Post and comments elsewhere, Khashoggi was critical of some policies of Mohammed bin Salman as well as Riyadh's role in the war in Yemen.

The Post said Khashoggi, who'd been living in the United States fearing arrest for criticizing Saudi leadership, entered the consulate to obtain paperwork for a wedding.

In a shocking report Saturday, Reuters cited unnamed Turkish officials as saying Khashoggi had been murdered inside.

Trump, who took his first overseas trip as US president to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said he had not yet talked to the Saudis about Khashoggi.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman Bob Corker says he has reviewed USA intelligence reports suggesting that Khashoggi was killed October 2, the day he went to the consulate. Trump brought Kushner their in his first foreign visit as president, won Saudi support for his push to leave the Iran deal, pushed for low oil prices.

Cengiz and Khashoggi met at a conference in May, where they soon "became emotionally involved and made a decision to marry", she said.

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The investigations found that the Saudi cars took a different route than they usually would, as shown by surveillance cameras.

"I think if we were to have another vote in the next week or two, I think you'd actually get a majority of the Senate who says 'Hey we need to back off'".

The Washington Post reports that USA intelligence intercepts outlined a Saudi plan to detain a prominent journalist and critic who disappeared a week ago. "Our expectation is that in making your determination you will consider any relevant information, including with respect to the highest ranking officials in the government of Saudi Arabia".

Security camera footage released on Wednesday by Turkish television showed a man believed to be Khashoggi enter the consulate.

The Post, citing anonymous United States officials familiar with the intelligence, said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered an operation to lure Mr Khashoggi from his home in Virginia, where he lived most recently, to Saudi Arabia and then detain him.

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., a longtime critic of the Saudi government, said he'll try to force a vote in the Senate this week blocking USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia. Erdogan asked. "If a bird flew, if a mosquito appeared, these systems would catch them and (I believe) they (the Saudis) would have the most advanced of systems".

A third appeared to be a special forces soldier who worked as a bodyguard to Mohammed bin Salman, the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

President Donald Trump has vowed to "get to the bottom" of the case of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo followed up with his own call to the crown prince, who had forged close ties to the administration, especially Kushner.

The freeze on journalism and free expression isn't limited to Saudi Arabia in the greater Persian Gulf.

Khashoggi, 59, who was once close to the Saudi royal family and has served as an adviser for senior Saudi officials, left the country previous year to live in the USA in self-imposed exile, saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Saudi policy in the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent.

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