Missing Saudi journalist 'DISMEMBERED in Istanbul consulate' - screams heard in building

Reports: Saudi considers admitting Khashoggi died in botched op

Pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia since prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a USA resident, Washington Post columnist and critic of Saudi policies, went missing.

Mike Pompeo, the USA secretary of state, has landed in Ankara for crisis talks with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, over the journalist Jamal Khashoggi as officials leaked gory details of what they claim was his murder in the Saudi consulate.

Turkey has expressed concerns that Khashoggi could have been murdered inside the building, which the Saudi government has refuted.

A pro-government Turkish daily published preliminary evidence last week from investigators who it said had identified a 15-member Saudi intelligence team that arrived in Istanbul on diplomatic passports hours before Khashoggi disappeared.

The Washington Post has previously cited unnamed United States and Turkish officials pointing to audio and video recordings that prove Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate then dismembered.

Turkish police investigators entered the Istanbul consulate late on Monday.

Early on Tuesday, Turkish police left the Saudi consulate where Mr Khashoggi was last seen after an overnight search.

Turkish and USA media has published leaked reports of what officials said were audio recordings that prove the Washington Post columnist was beaten, drugged and brutally killed before his body was disposed of. It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers.

Soon after talking with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over phone on Tuesday, Trump in a tweet said that answers related to Khashoggi's disappearance would be forthcoming shortly.

Turkish foreign minister on Wednesday reiterated the need for cooperation from Saudi officials regarding the missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi probe.

Turkish police have identified five suspects - four of whom have ties to the Saudi crown prince - in the investigation launched into the disappearance and alleged murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to a USA media report.

US President Donald Trump told reporters Monday that he was aware of the report but did not know if it was correct.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has suggested parts of the consulate had been repainted since the disappearance of the journalist, who was a critic of the Saudi regime.

"I don't want to talk about any of the facts", he told reporters on the tarmac of a military airport in Riyadh just before departing, when asked whether Khashoggi had died or not.

"I think we have to find out what happened first", Trump told the Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday.

Khashoggi wasn't interrogated, the sources said - instead he was beaten up, drugged and killed in the office of the Saudi consul general Mohammad al-Otaibi.

"It has been 13 days since the event, so surely proving some of the evidence might be difficult" the Turkish official said.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt and his G7 counterparts have said they are "very troubled" by the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and insist those responsible must be held to account.

"His denial to me could not have been stronger", Trump said, echoing language he has used to describe Russian President Vladimir Putin's denials of meddling in the 2016 election that sent Trump to the White House.

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