Turkish official says police found evidence of Khashoggi slaying


Earlier on Monday, the Turkish police searched the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for the first time since the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

Per the official USA government account, Pompeo spent his time "thanking" the Saudi king for his country's "strong partnership" with the United States. Another member of the group identified by Turkish official media and appearing in the alleged passport scans is Muhammad Saad al-Zahrani, who has appeared on Saudi state TV alongside Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

On Tuesday, President Trump and US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the crown prince informed them that an investigation into the matter had begun and answers would be forthcoming shortly.

The mysterious circumstances around Khashoggi, a onetime Saudi insider turned critic who lived in the United States and contributed to The Washington Post, have badly dented the worldwide image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who until recently was hailed in the West as a reformist saviour.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has arrived in Saudi Arabia to meet with King Salman over the disappearance and alleged slaying of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi.

A search was to be conducted on Tuesday of the Saudi consul's residence in Turkey, some 200 metres away from the consulate, where Khashoggi was last seen alive.

Police put up barricades around the consul's official residence Tuesday night. The Washington Post columnist was not observed leaving the building, and the U.S. media have cited anonymous Turkish sources to report that he was murdered and dismembered inside.

Trump compared the case of Jamal Khashoggi, a missing journalist who was critical of the Saudi monarchy, with the case of his recent Supreme Court nominee who faced sexual abuse allegations. Saudi officials have been in and out of the building since Khashoggi's disappearance on 2 October without being stopped.

Saudi Arabia has been closely linked to the United States for more than a half century as a critical oil supplier, with relations warming under Trump as the U.S. administration aggressively confronts the kingdom's regional rival Iran.

The Saudi regime's explanation of what took place in its Turkish consulate two weeks ago has changed dramatically over the past week as new evidence has continued to emerge and as the worldwide community has pressed for a credible investigation.

How much blame for Khashoggi's disappearance or death settles on the 33-year-old crown prince has become a decisive factor in his standing in the eyes of the West and within the royal family.

A team of Turkish and Saudi investigators visited the consulate on Monday, but no official results of the visit have been made public.

"I heard that report, but nobody knows if it's an official report", Trump told reporters, without elaborating.

The Turkish government said they have a recording of him being murdered. He said Saudi Arabia originally pledged its contribution in August, and US officials were expecting to receive it by the fall.

The Associated Press also quoted an unnamed high-level Turkish official as saying during a search of the consulate Turkish crime scene investigators found evidence of Khashoggi's killing, but did not give further details.

According to a statement issued by State Department spokesperson Heather Nauert on Tuesday, Pompeo met earlier with Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud in Riyadh during his stay in Saudi Arabia.