Jamal Khashoggi: Trump to 'punish' Saudis more than journalist
President Donald Trump has stated the US will inflict “severe punishment” on Saudi Arabia if the kingdom is located to be responsible for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
He mentioned he would be “very upset and angry if that have been the case”, but ruled out halting big military contracts.
Mr Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi government, vanished on 2 October right after going to its consulate in Istanbul.
Saudi Arabia dismissed allegations that it ordered his killing as “lies”.
The interior minister mentioned on Friday that the kingdom was keen to uncover “the whole truth”, stressing reports “about orders to kill” are “baseless”.
A Turkish security source has told the BBC that officials had audio and video proof proving Mr Khashoggi, who writes for the Washington Post, was murdered inside the consulate.
What did Mr Trump say?
In an interview with CBS News, Mr Trump said that, if accurate, the truth that a journalist was murdered was “terrible and disgusting”.
“We’re going to get to the bottom of it and there will be serious punishment,” he stated.
“As of this moment, they deny it vehemently. Could it be them? Yes,” he added.
Nonetheless, he mentioned that there had been “other ways of punishing” than cancelling military contracts, which powers like Russia and China have been interested in.
“I don’t want to hurt jobs, I don’t want to shed an order like that,” Mr Trump said.
What other reaction has there been?
On Friday UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told the BBC that “this sort of incident is multiplying” and urged the international neighborhood to respond.
He mentioned that, as soon as it was clear what had happened to Mr Khashoggi, governments ought to decide “in the acceptable way” no matter whether to attend an investment conference to be held in the Saudi capital Riyadh this month.
Jim Kim, the head of the Globe Bank, has already withdrawn from the event.
Sir Richard Branson, the head of Virgin, has stated he is suspending his role as director of two tourism projects.
He has also halted discussions about a $1bn (£750m) investment by the Saudi sovereign wealth fund into Virgin’s space ventures.
What do Turkey’s recordings reveal?
The most current reports recommend an assault and a struggle took place in the consulate.
A Turkish security supply has confirmed to BBC Arabic the existence of an audio and a video recording. What is not clear is if any person other than Turkish officials has noticed or heard them.
One source is quoted by the Washington Post as saying men can be heard beating Mr Khashoggi it adds that the recordings show he was killed and dismembered.
“You can hear his voice and the voices of the males speaking Arabic,” a separate supply told the Post, which employed Mr Khashoggi as a contributing columnist. “You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”
Turkish Television has already broadcast CCTV footage of the moment Mr Khashoggi walked into the consulate for an appointment at which he was due to acquire papers for his forthcoming marriage to Turkish fiancée Hatice Cengiz.
Separately, a video has emerged of men described as Saudi intelligence officers entering and leaving Turkey.
Turkish media say sources have identified a 15-sturdy group involved in Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance. The BBC has been told that one particular was Maher Mutreb, an intelligence colonel based in London, and one more was believed to be a forensics specialist.
Published at Sat, 13 Oct 2018 13:29:04 +0000