Saudis hit lies as Trump warns
CAIRO, Oct 13, (Agencies): Saudi Arabia denied allegations regarding the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Interior Minister said late on Friday.
He said that allegations about orders to murder Khashoggi were “lies” targeting the government, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.
Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2 to get documents for his forthcoming marriage. Saudi officials have said that he left shortly afterwards but Turkish officials and his fiancée, who was waiting outside, have said that he never came out.
US President Donald Trump has said Saudi Arabia could be behind the disappearance of missing Khashoggi and warned Washington would inflict “severe punishment” if that is the case.
“We’re going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment,” Trump told CBS’s “60 Minutes” program, according to an extract
of an interview that was released on Saturday.
“As of this moment, they deny it and they deny it vehemently. Could it be them? Yes,” Trump said in the interview, which was conducted on Thursday.
The network said it will air the interview in full on Sunday evening.
A delegation from Saudi Arabia has arrived in Turkey as part of a joint investigation into the disappearance of prominent journalist Khashoggi, three Turkish sources said on Friday.
A Saudi source also said a senior royal, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, visited Turkey on Thursday for talks. Later the same day Turkey said the two countries had agreed to form a joint working group – at Riyadh’s initiative – to investigate the case.
Saudi state news agency SPA later quoted a Saudi official as welcoming Turkey’s approval of its request to form the team.
Turkish officials have an audio recording of the alleged killing of Khashoggi from the Apple Watch he wore when he walked into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul over a week ago, a pro-government Turkish newspaper reported Saturday.
The new claim published by the Sabah newspaper, through which Turkish security officials have leaked much information about the case, puts more pressure on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Khashoggi.