Jamal Khashoggi disappearance: US asks Turkey for recording evidence

Jamal Khashoggi has not been seen since entering Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago

Jamal Khashoggi has not been seen since entering Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago

The family of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has rejected all attempts to use its name to target Saudi Arabia, according to reports.

Turkish officials have said they believe Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who was critical of the authoritarian kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered inside the consulate.

The Washington Post published a column it received from his assistant after he was reported missing in which Khashoggi condemns the crackdown on journalists by Arab governments and the failure of the global community to respond.

When questioned on what he would do if the Saudi investigation showed that Saudi leaders King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman were responsible, Trump told Fox Business in an earlier interview, "Well, I hope we're going to be on the better side of the equation. I will be forever grateful he chose The Post as his final journalistic home one year ago and gave us the chance to work together".

Al-Otaibi returned to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday before his residence in Istanbul was searched by police on Wednesday and Thursday.

Pompeo said he believes those combined efforts will produce "a complete picture" of what happened to Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist living in the USA who had been critical of the kingdom.

Khashoggi's fiancée Hatice Cengiz said he entered the consulate at around 1 p.m. local time (1000 GMT) on October 2, as she accompanied him but waited outside.

The US has asked Turkey for a recording said to provide strong evidence that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at Istanbul's Saudi consulate.

Adding to the picture of Saudi influence potentially weighing on American decision-making about Khashoggi, US media reported that US$100 million for Washington's stabilisation efforts in Syria was deposited by the kingdom as Pompeo arrived in Riyadh. The same man wore lapel pins, including one of the flags of Saudi Arabia and America intertwined, that other bodyguards accompanying Prince Mohammed wore on the trip.

Khashoggi provided examples of crackdowns on the free press in the Arab world, actions he said prevent citizens from knowing the true facts and coming to their own conclusions on issues.

Saudi officials have denied the allegations as baseless.

And a New York Times report says three of the suspects in the alleged Saudi "hit squad" served as part of the Crown Prince's security team.

"He became really the senior forensic doctor in Saudi Arabia, he was head of the Saudi forensic medicine commission".

The Trump administration has come under scrutiny for its response to the Khashoggi case.

Meanwhile, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin announced Thursday that he will not attend a previously scheduled Saudi investment conference.

That same day, the US government received a $100 million payment from the oil-rich kingdom, The New York Times and Washington Post reported - an amount that had earlier been promised to the Trump administration to support its stabilization efforts in Syria.

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