Pompeo Wants Saudis to be 'Transparent' About Missing-Journalist Probe

Jamal Khashoggi during a protest in front of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul

It remains unclear how the Turkish government determined Khashoggi had been killed, but the conclusion the Saudi royal court ordered the hit could increase the pressure on both sides of the dispute, the Times reported.

Saudi Arabia on Tuesday invited Turkish experts and relevant officials to visit its Istanbul Consulate to look into last week's disappearance of a Saudi journalist.

A Turkish official told the New York Times on the condition of anonymity that a team of Saudi agents killed the 59-year-old writer within two hours of his arrival at the consulate, and then dismembered his body with a bone saw they had brought for the goal.

Allegations have since swirled over the whereabouts of Khashoggi, who is a well-known critic of the Saudi government and lives in exile.

Khashoggi, a Saudi writer and critic of the kingdom's leadership, was last seen entering the consulate in Istanbul's Levent district on October 2, when he arrived to retrieve an administrative document. "This is a horrific escalation in the crown prince's campaign to silence dissent, to silence any criticism, even the mildest of criticism, from Saudis at home or overseas", says columnist for The Intercept Mehdi Hasan, who is also host of "UpFront" at Al Jazeera English, where he interviewed Khashoggi earlier this year.

Dissident journalist and Washington Post contributor Khashoggi, 58, has been missing since last Tuesday after entering the Saudi consulate to gather documents for marriage.

Turkey would hope for backing from its North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally, the US.

Turkish officials made the accusation on Sunday.

"We demand from the global community to pressure Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Salman to tell us exactly what happened". "Jamal is a Saudi citizen whose safety and security is a top priority for the Kingdom".

Turkey is in the midst of an economic crisis compounded by a feud with Washington, and Ankara may wish to avoid alienating a rich and influential trading partner like Saudi Arabia.

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Khashoggi had gone to the consulate in Istanbul for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancée.

The Saudis have offered no surveillance footage or evidence to corroborate their claims that Khashoggi left the consulate, and Turkish authorities have not provided evidence to show why they believe the columnist was killed there.

The rights group Prisoners of Conscience, which is an independent non-governmental organization advocating human rights in Saudi Arabia, announced in a post on its official Twitter page that it did not dismiss the possibility that Khashoggi's sudden disappearance was an attempt to silence the writer.

"We wouldn't normally broadcast an off-air conversation, but we've decided to make an exception, in light of the current circumstances", the British broadcaster said in a note published with the recording.

He had been living in the United States in a self-imposed exile since a year ago, in part due to the rise of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman. He said he believes Turkish officials soon will announce the findings of their investigation.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and U.S. resident, had written articles critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

On Monday President Trump said that he was "concerned" about reports on Khashoggi's disappearance.

Cengiz called on President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to "help shed light" on Khashoggi's disappearance.

On his first worldwide trip as president, Trump visited Saudi Arabia and announced $110 billion in proposed arms sales.

But after several of his friends were arrested, his column was cancelled by the al-Hayat newspaper and he was allegedly warned to stop tweeting, Mr Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia for the US.

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