Monday, 12 November, 2018

'Not at all' giving cover to Saudis in journalist's disappearance

H6 jeffrey bossert clark Trump Speaks to Saudi King, Sends Pompeo for Follow-Up
Lloyd Bates | 18 October, 2018, 06:22

It said: 'We're there to do business and for reasons of security.

The piece, entitled "What the Arab world needs most is free expression", addresses the crackdown on journalists in Saudi Arabia and other countries.

Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of SC and one of the kingdom's biggest defenders, angrily rejected the Saudi denials that Trump repeated. "That means I'm not going back to Saudi Arabia as long as this guy's in charge".

USA officials say they are taking Khashoggi's disappearance seriously, but Trump says he has not sent the Federal Bureau of Investigation, stressing that he was not "American citizen".

The newspaper said Saudi Consul General Mohammed al Otaibi could be heard on the tape, telling those allegedly torturing Khashoggi: "Do this outside; you're going to get me in trouble". "We just need to simply say what happened".

The report by Yeni Safak adds to the ever-increasing pressure on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Khashoggi, who vanished October 2 while visiting the consulate to pick up paperwork he needed to get married.

Trump has repeated denials by the Saudi king and crown prince that they knew anything about Khashoggi's fate, and he has warned of a rush to judgment.

In an editorial, the paper called for an independent worldwide investigation into the disappearance of the journalist, saying that the travel to Saudi Arabia by State Secretary Mike Pompeo has seemed to fail to find the truth.

"I know the bloom is off the rose with the crown prince", Giuliani said.

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Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was tortured before being decapitated inside Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul, pro-government Turkish daily Yeni Safak reported yesterday, saying it had heard audio recordings of the incident.

Trump initially promised "severe punishment" for Saudi Arabia if the United States determined that Saudi agents killed Khashoggi. Trump has resisted any action, pointing to huge USA weapons deals pending with Saudi Arabia and saying that sanctions could hurt end up hurting the American economy.

In the column, Khashoggi discussed the results of the 2018 "Freedom in the World" report and said he "came to a grave realization" that Tunisia was the "one country in the Arab world that has been classified as 'free.'" Three other countries were given "partly free" status, while the remaining were labeled as "not free", he said.

President Trump's son-in-law-Jared Kushner laid low in New York Wednesday as the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi simmered as an global crisis, but continued to steer a back-room response.

A team of a dozen police and prosecutors, including forensics experts in white overalls, entered the residence of Mohammed al-Otaibi, a day after he flew out of Istanbul for Riyadh. A team of Saudi officials went into the residence Wednesday afternoon and police arrived to again put up barricades amid reports the search could happen.

The existence of audio evidence that Mr Khashoggi - a critic of Saudi leaders - was murdered was revealed by Turkish investigators early on in their inquiries.

Saudi Arabia should also focus on re-establishing the machinery of Yemen's government, she said. Turkish officials say Saudi officials killed and dismembered The Washington Post columnist. Erdogan said there had been "a couple of delays", according to Pompeo, but the Turks feel confident now the Saudis will admit them to the consulate to perform their investigation.

Mr Khashoggi is a U.S. resident and columnist for the Washington Post newspaper who went into self-imposed exile previous year after reportedly being warned by Saudi officials to stop criticising the crown prince's policies.

"They made a commitment to hold anyone connected to any wrongdoing that may be found accountable for that, whether they are a senior officer or official", Pompeo said.

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