Pompeo wants thorough Saudi probe on missing journalist
17 October 2018 – U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Saudi leaders yesterday to conduct a “thorough” probe into the disappearance of U.S.-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi two weeks ago.
The top U.S. diplomat made the pitch in talks with Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh as news reports suggested that Saudi Arabia is preparing to acknowledge Khashoggi’s death and explain it as the result of an interrogation that went awry.
“Secretary Pompeo conveyed the importance of conducting a thorough, transparent and timely investigation,” said Heather Nauert, a spokeswoman for the U.S. State Department, according to U.S. media.
“Learning what happened to Jamal Khashoggi is the primary purpose of this trip and is of great interest to (President Donald Trump),” Nauert said. “The secretary has made that clear in each of his meetings today.”
Also Tuesday, the Associated Press, citing a high-level Turkish official, reported that “certain evidence” indicated that Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi Consulate General in Istanbul, which he visited on Oct. 2 to get a document he needed in order to marry.
A joint Saudi-Turkish team on Monday began its search of the consulate. Turkish authorities had said Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and prominent Saudi critic, was murdered by a team of 15 Saudi agents in the consulate, a claim Riyadh has denied.
Trump suggested Monday that “rogue killers” could have been behind Khashoggi’s disappearance after a phone talk with Saudi King Salman over the case.