‘Rogue killers’ may be to blame for Saudi writer’s death

Frederick Owens
October 19, 2018

Trump spoke after a personal 20-minute phone call with Saudi King Salman and as the president dispatched his secretary of state to Riyadh for a face-to-face discussion with the king.

According to two sources, the Saudis are preparing a report that will acknowledge Jamal Khashoggi's death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, one that was meant to lead to his abduction from Turkey.

There is no evidence that he exited the building and Turkish officials have concluded that Khashoggi was likely murdered once inside.

"Canada and our government has a strong record of standing up for human rights around the world, very much including in Saudi Arabia, and we're going to continue to do that", she said outside the House of Commons.

Two of the officials said the search could take place as early as Monday afternoon.

It is not clear what kind of search the officials will conduct and whether it will include a forensic examination, given that it has been nearly two weeks since the reporter was last seen.

Turkey believes Khashoggi was deliberately killed in the Saudi consulate and his body was removed on Oct 2.

The U.S. president is under growing pressure to take action on the suspected murder of the Saudi writer, who has been living and working in the United States, including contributing to The Washington Post and writing columns critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Trump has said he's unwilling to jeopardize USA arms sales to Saudi over the Khashoggi case, but he's also repeatedly promised to hold the perpetrators accountable.

"Evidence has been conveyed to all sides very clearly", the security source said.

How are the Saudis reacting?

In Istanbul, meanwhile, investigators entered the consulate for their own investigation.

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The New York Times, CNN, CNBC have also announced they would not sponsor the event, and several prominent journalists have said they would not attend.

His disappearance has sparked a worldwide outcry.

How was the consulate search conducted?

In statements after the call, both praised the creation of a joint Saudi-Turkish probe. But it's Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who wields the real power in the country. He is embroiled in a damaging dispute with neighbouring Qatar.

More conservative Saudis may well be hankering for quieter times.

Executives from media, technology and financial firms have in the last few days withdrawn from the conference, scheduled for October 23-25, after the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Mr Khashoggi has not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul amid speculation he may have been killed.

Trump has threatened the kingdom with "severe punishment" if it is shown that Khashoggi was killed inside its Istanbul mission.

What other reaction has there been?

In protest of Khashoggi's disappearance, several USA businesses leaders have pulled out of next week's Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, dubbed "Davos in the Desert", after the annual meeting of world economic interests in Switzerland.

The three-day conference, known as "Davos in the Desert" was scheduled on Oct 23.

Officially entitled the Future Finance Initiative, the Saudi conference describes itself as an "international platform for expert-led debate between investors, innovators and governments as well as economic leaders".

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