Pompeo On Khashoggi Recording: 'I've Heard No Tape, I've Seen No Transcript'

Saudi Arabia denies any knowledge of what happened to Mr Khashoggi, insisting he left the consulate soon after getting routine paperwork. Khashoggi walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul October 2 and hasn't been seen since.

"Investigations are still underway", the statement added.

He was critical of some of Saudi Arabia's policies.

"The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power", he writes.

Pro-government media in Turkey have released surveillance photos identifying an intelligence officer in Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's entourage as the mastermind of the alleged killing. King Salman subsequently ordered the Saudi public prosecutor to open an inquiry based on its findings.

Trump previously said there would be "very severe" consequences if Saudi Arabia was discovered to be responsible.

News of Khashoggi's disappearance emerged after his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, told friends she waited outside the consulate for almost 12 hours and didn't see him exit the building.

Khashoggi's killers may have dumped his remains in Belgrad Forest adjacent to Istanbul, and at a rural location near the city of Yalova, a 90-kilometre (55 mile) drive south of Istanbul, the officials said.

Crime-scene technicians wore white coveralls, gloves and shoe covers entering the residence.

While it is not immediately clear whether the search revealed anything, investigators were seen carrying away bags and boxes.

Turkey's private DHA news agency, without citing a source, said police wanted to inspect a "water well" in the garden of the residence.

The consulate was also searched a second time. Central Intelligence Agency officials reportedly listended to the recording, which proved Khashoggi was killed and dimembered by the Saudis, people familiar with the situation said to The Washington Post.

The Canadian official, speaking on condition of anonymity Thursday, declined to draw a direct link to recent events when asked why Canadians were skipping the summit - they said Canada is just not going.

Turkish newspaper Sabah published a CCTV image purportedly showing the man entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul shortly before the Washington Post columnist arrived.

Leading figures in the royal court had given backing to a plan to question Mr Khashoggi over his political activities in self-declared exile.

US President Donald Trump denied on Wednesday he was giving cover to his main Middle East ally, but has said we need to know all the facts before deciding on any action.

He is said to have spent two years working in London, with a source describing him as a colonel in Saudi intelligence to United States news network CNN.

The daily reported that in another tape, an unknown individual tells Otaibi: "If you want to live when you return to Saudi Arabia, be quiet!"

But Pompeo also stressed the "long strategic relationship" that the USA has with Saudi Arabia, and described the country as an "important counter-terrorism supporter". "That is unacceptable by any government, but especially by one so closely aligned with the United States".

"The king started asking aides and MbS about it. MbS had to tell him and asked him to intervene when Khashoggi's case became a global crisis", the source said.

  • Leroy Wright