Saudi king in dark about writer

US media reported on Monday that the kingdom is considering an admission that Mr Khashoggi died after an interrogation that went wrong

Probe of Missing Saudi Journalist Brings Consulate Search, US Secretary of State Visit

They took samples with them, including soil from the consulate garden that was loaded into vans, one official at the scene said.

"We encourage Turkish-Saudi collaboration and look forward to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia conducting a thorough, credible, transparent, and prompt investigation, as announced".

"We went inside all the rooms, without any exceptions".

Trump said he could not confirm such reports. He had [Khashoggi] murdered in a consulate in Turkey and to expect me to ignore it? A police dog was part of the search team. CCTV footage showed vehicles moving from the consulate building to the nearby Saudi consul general's residence on October 2. MEE understands that the Saudis were reluctant to let Turkish investigators use luminol equipment in their probe. Several diplomatic cars were seen leaving the consulate for the house about an hour after Khashoggi stepped through the consulate's doors.

The Saudi Arabia royal court finally allowed Turkish investigators into their Consulate in Istanbul for a face saving. Details leaked to US news organizations from the Turks include an allegation that one of the individuals identified among the 15 Saudis who came to Istanbul on private jets on October 2 was an expert in autopsies, who brought with him a bone saw. According to that reported claim, the crown prince had approved an interrogation or rendition of Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, but the intelligence official was tragically incompetent as he eagerly sought to prove himself. However, they have not presented any evidence to corroborate their claim and say that video cameras at the consulate were not recording at the time.

Riyadh, Oct 16 U.S. top diplomat Mike Pompeo met Tuesday with Saudi King Salman and the crown prince seeking to defuse a crisis over missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, with American officials saying Riyadh had agreed the need for a "thorough" probe.

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Speaking on Monday, Mr Trump said Saudi leader King Salman denied "any knowledge of whatever may have happened" during a phone call.

Pompeo was to have a dinner Tuesday night with Prince Mohammed and was expected to fly to Turkey on Wednesday.

Khashoggi, a Saudi national and United States resident who became increasingly critical of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has not been seen since he walked into the Istanbul consulate to sort out marriage paperwork on October 2.

This comes as the Saudi government is reportedly preparing a statement acknowledging Khashoggi died during a botched interrogation by low-ranking Saudi officials.

Saudi officials have not answered repeated requests for comment over recent days from the AP.

In an attempt to stop the fallout from snowballing any further, late last week King Salman sent trusted lieutenant and Mecca governor Khaled bin Faisal to Turkey to strike a deal with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, a high-level Turkish source told MEE.

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"They promised accountability for each of those persons whom they determine as a result of their investigation deserves accountability", he said. He noted how the Saudi consul general opened a cupboard for a team from the Reuters news agency earlier this month "as if to say, 'See, he isn't here'".

On Wednesday, President Trump said that the USA asked Turkey for audio and video relating to Khashoggi "if it exists". It remained unclear what evidence they might be able to uncover.

President Donald Trump said Monday that "rogue killers" may be responsible for his disappearance, adding that Saudi Arabia's King Salman "firmly denied" knowing anything about what happened.

Such a line would help insulate MBS from the scandal.

What allegedly happened in Istanbul?

"We also had the chance to talk about lots of other elements of the relationship between our two countries", Pompeo told reporters. The order to stop writing and tweeting, which forced Khashoggi from his country, would have come from the very top, he said.

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