Jamal Khashoggi: Trump 'concerned' about missing journalist; Saudis deny involvement

Report Saudi journalist killed in Turkey

Khashoggi, who writes for The Washington Post's Global Opinions section, visited the consulate Tuesday to obtain documents related to his upcoming wedding, according to his fiancee and friends.

Khashoggi, a wealthy former government insider who had been living in the U.S.in self-imposed exile, had gone to the consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get paperwork he needed for his upcoming marriage while his Turkish fiancee waited outside.

Almost a week since Khashoggi disappeared, Recep Tayyip Erdogan stepped up his calls for Riyadh to explain what happened to the high-profile critic of the Saudi leadership. "We Saudis deserve better", he added.

Khashoggi has been one of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's most prominent critics. "We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate".

CNN reports that 15 Saudi nationals visited the consulate the same day as Khashoggi and have since left the country. "The consulate should make a clear explanation".

Reuters' Turkish sources did not say how they thought Khashoggi was killed.

Saudi officials, meanwhile, have blasted the allegations and have insisted that Khashoggi walked out of the property on his own.

But Saudi Arabia claimed he had entered and then left the mission on Tuesday.

The Trump family - in particular the president's son-in-law Jared Kushner - has established a close bond with Saudi Crown Prince Salman. "It was a preplanned murder", said one of the people. Though Riyadh has accepted some reforms recently-women there are finally allowed to drive and to work outside the home-the government has also overseen a renewed crackdown on free speech, and particularly on dissent against the government.

"The episode was made more confounding by the thicket of security cameras around the consulate, monitoring its entrances and perched on the walls of villas nearby".

Police and investigators in Turkey typically release video and information through state-run or otherwise government-friendly media outlets, as opposed to holding briefings like those common in Western nations.

The Turkish ministry of foreign affairs had stated that Saudi Arabia has provided all assistance and cooperation in the case of the missing journalist who has disappeared in Istanbul last week.

"Consulate officials can not save themselves by saying that he left the building".

Cengiz, Khashoggi's Turkish fiancee, told the New York Times that Turkish officials have not confirmed Khashoggi's death with her. Their wedding was scheduled for the following day, The New York Times reports.

As Khashoggi wrote in his first column in the Post: "That is how breathtakingly fast you can fall out of favour with Saudi Arabia".

US Vice-President Mike Pence had earlier noted that he was "deeply troubled to hear reports about Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi".

"If Khashoggi was indeed murdered inside a diplomatic facility, it is an act of terror that echoes Russian and Chinese tactics of extraterritorial, extrajudicial attacks on dissidents, meant to intimidate any who would speak out against the Saudi government, no matter where they may be, and giving the lie to official narratives of "reform" in Saudi Arabia", said Summer Lopez, PEN America's senior director of free expression programs. "We hope this has not now spread overseas".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday urged the Saudis to back up their claim that Khashoggi left the consulate.

The Saudis have called allegations of any involvement in his disappearance "baseless", but had no immediate comment on Turkey's announcement.

Khashoggi fled the country in September 2017, months after Prince Mohammed was appointed heir to the throne, amid a campaign that saw dozens of dissidents arrested, including intellectuals and Islamic preachers.

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