United States increases pressure on Saudis over writer's disappearance

Khashoggi case should not be politicized, says UN expert

Tony Blair, a supporter of the Saudi modernisation programme, said the Saudis needed to offer credible explanations for what had happened to Khashoggi.

"We're demanding everything. We want to see what's going on here".

In the interview, Trump said the United States was working with Turkey and Saudi Arabia, adding, "we have investigators over there".

A demonstrator holds picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest in front of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, October 5, 2018.

"Something as serious as the assassination of a very senior, respected journalist in a foreign country's territory is not something we should turn a blind eye to", Professor Saul said.

The fact that the Saudis under MBS, with Trump and Kushner's encouragement, can target an Establishment, non-dissident, ex-govt, mildly-critical-of-MBS Saudi public figure in this brutal & brazen way speaks volumes about what they think they can get away with - and do!

Mr Trump, who took his first overseas trip as U.S. president to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said he had not yet talked to the Saudis about Khashoggi.

The Washington Post cited several of Khashoggi's friends as saying that the prominent journalist had over the past months had been asked by senior Saudi officials close to return back home from the USA, offering him "protection" and "even a high-level job". The Post's source added it was unclear how the Saudi's planned on handling Khashoggi after receiving him or if the U.S. warned him that he was targeted. Kentucky Republican Sen. Rand Paul went a step further, calling on the U.S. to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia if they're found to have been involved.

More than 20 Republican and Democratic senators instructed Trump to order an investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance under legislation that authorizes imposition of sanctions for perpetrators of extrajudicial killings, torture or other gross human rights violations.

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The Post reported Wednesday evening that us intelligence intercepts outlined a Saudi plan to detain Khashoggi.

Turkish officials have said they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate and his body removed.

The Trump administration is left with an awkward lack of information about a widely respected writer who had been living in self-imposed exile in the US for the past year after fleeing a crackdown on intellectuals and activists in Saudi Arabia. According to the images, a vehicle that went inside the consulate was then driven to the consul-general's residence nearby, around two hours after Mr Khashoggi had gone in.

Saudi Arabia asserts the allegations are "baseless". He said that "there was Saudi involvement" in whatever happened with the journalist, who wrote columns for The Washington Post.

The Washington Post reports that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered an "operation" against government supporter-turned-critic Jamal Khoshoggi, which would see him lured back to the kingdom and arrested.

Khashoggi, 59, has not been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Boot told Lemon, "If these reports are accurate, they lured (Khashoggi) into their consulate in Istanbul on the soil of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation country and killed and dismembered him". Trump visited Saudi Arabia in May 2017, and Mohammad has applauded his decision to withdraw from the Obama Administration's nuclear arms agreement with Iran. "They don't know over there", he said, although it's unclear if he meant the Saudis did not know or if Turkish authorities who are investigating still do not know.

Trump expressed reservations about withholding arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The administration also relies on Saudi support for several aspects of its Middle East agenda.

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