Turkish probe of Khashoggi killing turns to garden well

Chip Somodevilla  Getty Images North America

Earlier on October 23, the kingdom's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said that the killing was something that must "never happen again" and pledged a full investigation into the journalist's death. While departing the White House for a rally Monday in Texas, Trump appeared skeptical of the Saudi explanation and suggested he wouldn't accept the one month the Saudis have requested to complete their investigation into Khashoggi's death.

"We also demand Saudi Arabian government to release journalists and activists in detention and stop the repression of dissent".

Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel has heard audio recordings that are believed to capture the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, media reports say.

Turkish pro-government media reported on Wednesday that Turkish intelligence had shared "all the evidence" from its probe with the CIA.

"These penalties will not be the last word on the matter from the United States", Pompeo told reporters.

"We know that many are trying to use this painful thing to drive a wedge between Saudi Arabia and Turkey", the crown prince, widely known by his initials MBS, said in his public remarks in Riyadh.

A number of high profile business and political figures have pulled out of the conference over the death of the journalist, a prominent critic of Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler.

Following a global outrage, Riyadh acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed in a fistfight inside the consulate after an interrogation went wrong.

Turkish state media reported on Wednesday that Saudi authorities had denied permission for Turkish police to search a well in the consulate's garden.

Turkish officials say President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and the Saudi prince have discussed what they said were "the need for joint efforts to shed light on all aspects of on the killing".

"I want to send them a message that they can not do this as long as King Salman is here, and the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is in Saudi Arabia and the head of Turkey, whose name is Erdogan. this division won't happen".

The problem is that Turkish officials and commentators have signalled such a crime - allegedly carried out by a hit-squad of 15 men - could only have taken place with the knowledge of a senior member of the Saudi royal family such as Prince Mohammed.

"It would have likely had the approval of the Saudi government", Robert Jordan, a former US ambassador to Saudi Arabia during President George W. Bush's administration, told the AP.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the State Department would revoke visas for 21 Saudis the USA had identified as being part of the operation at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

There were conflicting reports Thursday about whether investigators had searched the well. The remaining three are consulate staff who have been detained in connection with Khashoggi's "ferocious murder".

A Saudi cabinet meeting chaired by King Salman said Riyadh would hold to account those responsible for the killing and those who failed in their duties, whoever they were.



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