Trump wants evidence missing journo killed by Saudi agents

Saudi journalist Global Opinions columnist for the Washington Post and former editor-in-chief of Al Arab News Channel Jamal Khashoggi offers remarks during POMED's

Saudi journalist Global Opinions columnist for the Washington Post and former editor-in-chief of Al Arab News Channel Jamal Khashoggi offers remarks during POMED's"Mohammed bin Salman's Saudi Arabia A Deeper Look

A column Jamal Khashoggi filed shortly before he went missing early this month was published online by The Washington Post on Wednesday evening. Trump has speculated without providing evidence that "rogue killers" could be responsible.

In his brief comments to reporters, Pompeo also stressed the "longstanding strategic relationship" between the US and Saudi Arabia. "They said, 'Yes, Turan, and let's tell you even beyond that, he was killed in a very barbaric way.' I was shocked".

President Trump met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo Thursday following Pompeo's fact-finding trip to Riyadh and Ankara.

The secretary said he made a decision to withdraw his participation at the conference, dubbed "Davos in the Desert", after a meeting with US President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

Turkish crime scene teams were seen leaving the consulate early on Thursday morning.

"Defending the Saudis is becoming less tenable for Trump by the day, as a flood of reporting supports that Khashoggi was gruesomely murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul", Axios concluded, adding that "despite the all-smiles photos, it seems like Pompeo had a fairly tense conversation with MBS". "Here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent".

The Saudi government has vehemently denied these allegations but, after more than two weeks, still hasn't provided any evidence Khashoggi is alive.

Khashoggi also praised the Washington Post for its translation of his columns into Arabic, but ultimately, he argued what is most needed is an independent speech platform for ordinary Arab people.

One name matches a LinkedIn profile for a forensic expert who has worked at the interior ministry for 20 years.

The New York Times reports that four of the 15 agents have links to Crown Prince Mohammed, while another is a senior figure in the country's interior ministry.

Institute director Professor Noel Woodford told the ABC he did not meet the Saudi surgeon during his Australian placement but understood he voiced a particular interest in the field of mass disaster victim identification. Others resemble officers in the Saudi Army and Air Force.

Turkish officials have accused Saudi Arabia of killing Khashoggi, who was often critical of the Saudi government in his writing. "Then I called a few colleagues, again security officials, trying to have them verify it, saying 'Is this really true?'" Turan Kislakci said Wednesday.

But there has been criticism of some of his moves, including Riyadh's involvement in the Yemen war, the arrest of women activists, and a diplomatic row with Canada.

However, several politicians have pulled out from next week's Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh - which has been nicknamed "Davos in the Desert" - including International Monetary Fund chief Christine Lagarde. Sultan Khashoggi, speaking on behalf of the Khashoggi family, also rejected a statement being attributed to them earlier, which calls for an "independent and impartial global commission to inquire" Khashoggi's case.

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