Saudi government reportedly grappling with Khashoggi explanation to save face

Saudi government reportedly grappling with Khashoggi explanation to save face

Saudi government reportedly grappling with Khashoggi explanation to save face

Members of Khashoggi's family called for an investigation, in a statement released on Monday.

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documents to marry his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. Turkish authorities believe he was killed inside the consulate.

Media captionCCTV footage shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, waited outside the consulate and says she did not see him re-emerge.

The family of missing activist Jamal Khashoggi said Monday they're following the news of the writer, who disappeared in Saudi Arabia on October 2.

"I don't want to get into his mind but it sounded to me like maybe it could have been rogue killers, who knows?"

In an interview with 60 Minutes that aired on Sunday in the US, Mr Trump said if it turns out Saudi Arabia was behind Khashoggi's disappearance, "there will be severe punishment".

Handshake: US President Donald Trump with and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman in Riyadh in May previous year.

Mediaite reports the CNN claim is that the Middle East nation is preparing a report that will admit Khashoggi's death. A source acknowledged that the report was still being prepared and cautioned that things could change.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is still planning to attend an investment summit in Riyadh organized by the crown prince, even as scores of business leaders and media organizations from around the world have dropped out over Khashoggis disappearance. When it comes to Saudi Arabia these days, things could not get weirder or uglier.

More news: Saudi Arabia rejects 'threats' after Trump comments on missing journalist

Meanwhile, the chiefs of Blackstone and BlackRock, two major United States investment firms, joined an exodus of executives pulling out of Crown Prince's "Davos in the Desert" summit.

However, given the close political and economic links between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia it remains unclear what action he could take. It is feared that a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered Khashoggi, who wrote critically about Mohammed bin Salman.

However, the White House brushed aside the Saudi threats, pledging a "swift, open, transparent investigation" into the journalist's disappearance.

"We are strong and old allies", the prince said after greeting Pompeo, according to a pool report from journalists traveling with the secretary of state.

Manchester United did not comment on Monday night about reports that Saudi Arabia is interested in buying the club.

Technology investor Steve Case and Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi also backed away from projects with Saudi Arabia after the disappearance and alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who resides in Virginia.

A Saudi official, not authorised to speak publicly, told Reuters that the king had ordered an internal investigation based on information from the joint team in Istanbul.

Turkish officials say they have audio evidence the outspoken critic of the Saudi leadership was murdered.

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