Suspects in Saudi journalist case tied to top prince

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Turkish officials maintain that they have evidence that Saudi officials killed and dismembered Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post, inside their consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish police on Wednesday began searching the residence of the Saudi consul in Istanbul for their investigation, with forensics experts in white overalls entering the building, an AFP correspondent said.

But he's not confirming there is any such recording, as reported by Turkish media, and he's continuing to urge patience while Saudi Arabia says it's investigating.

A search expected on Tuesday at the consul's residence did not take place as family members were still present but should go ahead on Wednesday, Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said. A bone saw was used to dismember Khashoggi's body and it was placed in handheld cases and transported back to Saudi Arabia.

How the crown prince emerges from the crisis is a test of how the West will deal with Saudi Arabia in the future.

A suspect identified by Turkey in the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was a frequent companion of the kingdom's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, The New York Times reported on Tuesday (Oct 16).

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Mike Pompeo, the USA secretary of state, has landed in Ankara for crisis talks with the Turkish president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, over the journalist Jamal Khashoggi as officials leaked gory details of what they claim was his murder in the Saudi consulate.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has suggested parts of the consulate had been repainted since the disappearance of the journalist, who was a critic of the Saudi regime.

An entirely separate narrative within Khashoggi's disappearance is the relationship between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi, a dissident Saudi journalist, who wrote for The Washington Post and lived in the U.S. as legal permanent resident was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"Gardiner and others believe the Trump administration may likely bring limited economic sanctions only against those responsible for the suspected murder, similar to what happened to Turkey's Justice Minister in the detainment of Pastor Andrew Brunson. It's very hard to find someone who will dissent", Wright said.

"We have said before that Saudi Arabia must cooperate with us in every aspect without delay".

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A Turkish team on Wednesday entered the residence of the Saudi consul general in Istanbul to seek further evidence over the disappearance of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was killed within minutes and his torturers severed his fingers during the interrogation, the newspaper said.

The Saudi consul Mohammed al-Otaibi left Istanbul for Riyadh on a scheduled Saudia flight Tuesday afternoon, with Ankara insisting he had not been expelled but left of his own choice. The team included a forensic scientist affiliated to the Saudi interior ministry as well as individuals traveling on diplomatic passports, whose luggage would not have been subject to search. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing.

Pompeo welcomed Saudi Arabia's support of the Turkish authorities' investigation, the State Department said, noting that both agreed on the need for an investigation "that provides answers". Saudi Arabia has denied the claims.

The US leader said that Riyadh was being treated as "guilty until proven innocent".

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