Istanbul police search Saudi consul’s residence in Khashoggi probe

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Saudi Arabia is preparing to say that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by mistake during an interrogation gone awry, according to multiple reports.

After speaking with the king, Trump floated the idea that "rogue killers" may have been responsible for the disappearance. There's no independent judiciary and, in fact, the crown prince over the past 16 months has consolidated all five sectors of power: economic, military, and the royal court. At issue will be to what extent the West believes responsibility for Khashoggi lies with the powerful young ruler.

Trump also said Saudi Arabia is an important ally against Iran and the war on terror.

"They're going to do an investigation, and when the investigation comes out we'll evaluate it".

"He was with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during the call, and told me that he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter".

The phone call coincided with a visit to Saudi Arabia by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, sent to deal with the crisis in relations. A voice on the recording can be heard inviting him to leave, the report said.

A USA resident, Khashoggi vanished during a visit to the consulate on October 2 to collect marriage documents.

Police apparently thought they would be able to conduct the search a day earlier, however Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Saudi officials had halted that search, claiming Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi's family was still there. Their search included the roof and garage, and employed a drone to surveil the premises. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey. They had wanted to search on Tuesday night but did not have permission from Saudi Arabia.

One person named by Turkish authorities, Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, has been photographed on trips with the Crown Prince this year, during his visits to Paris, Madrid, Boston, Massachusetts, and Houston, Texas.

Some materials at the Saudi consulate have been painted over, Turkey's President Tayyip Erdoğan said on October 16.

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Pompeo continued on Wednesday to Turkey, where investigators were still waiting for access to the Saudi consul general's home.

Speaking to journalists in Geneva amid news reports that details of Khashoggi's death may surface soon, indicating that it was an accident, United Nations human rights office (OHCHR) spokesperson Rupert Colville said potentially serious crimes had been committed and the perpetrators should be held accountable.

Pompeo came to Ankara after Riyadh where he held a 20-minute talk with King Salman and then a brief meeting and much lengthier dinner with his son Prince Mohammed.

One of the suspects, Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, has close ties to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as photographs show him disembarking from airplanes with the crown prince in Madrid and Paris, according to the The New York Times. Trump said he would make the decision of whether Mnuchin will attend by Friday.

After Utaybi told the interrogators to "do it somewhere else outside or I will be in trouble", he was told to "shut up if you want to live when you are back in Arabia". "I don't like that".

But there has been criticism of some of his moves, including Riyadh's involvement in the Yemen war, the arrest of women activists, and a diplomatic row with Canada.

On October 3 the Washington Post, for whom Khashoggi writes opinion pieces, raises the alarm, saying he has not been seen since he entered the consulate.

Graham put the blame directly on the crown prince, who is known by his initials, MbS, and said he planned to share his views with the president and advocate suspending arms sales.

He adds Saudi Arabia's location gives the United States strategic advantages, in combating the threat of ISIS.

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