Audio offers gruesome details of Khashoggi killing: Turkish official

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A strongly pro-government Turkish newspaper has published a gruesome recounting of the alleged slaying of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Khashoggi went missing on October 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

New reporting overnight could escalate a diplomatic crisis between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.

TRT World's Joseph Hayat has the details.

Turkish officials have said they possess evidence that a team of 15 Saudi agents flew into Istanbul on October 2, assassinated Khashoggi, dismembered his body with a bone saw they had brought for the objective, and flew out the same day.

Now several news outlets - in Turkey and the United States - have reported the existence of audio tapes which they say prove this. Next door in Iraq, the current secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, and his predecessor, Rex Tillerson, have leaned heavily on the Saudis to make large financial pledges for reconstruction of war-shattered communities. Lippmann said Graham probably "didn't think much of the optics of that glad-handing session between Pompeo and the prince - but when did this administration ever care about the optics?"

It described the recording as offering evidence that a Saudi team immediately accosted the 60-year-old journalist after he entered the consulate.

In an interview with The Associated Press on Tuesday, the president compared the Khashoggi case to the sexual assault allegations against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying "here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent".

Trump said he hopes the Saudis' own investigation of Khashoggi's disappearance will be concluded in "less than a week".

The Saudi Embassy in Washington did not respond to requests for comment. Otaibi left Turkey on Tuesday afternoon, Turkish state media reported.

Turkey has now asked the U.S. to share Khashoggi's blood and DNA samples with them, he added.

"I'm not giving cover at all", Trump said.

"I do think it's important that everyone keep in their mind that we have lots of important relationships - financial relationships between USA and Saudi companies, governmental relationships, things we work on together all across the world, the efforts to" counter Iran, Pompeo said to reporters in Brussels.

The three posed for photos before their meetings, but said nothing in front of journalists.

"Now I have to accept: That is not going to happen".

"If a country engages in activity that is unlawful it's unacceptable", he said.

Trump ally Senator Lindsey Graham, Republican of SC and one of the kingdom's biggest defenders, angrily rejected the Saudi denials that Trump repeated. "We'll have a full report when Mike [Pompeo] comes back, that's going to be one of the first questions I ask him", he said in the Oval Office.

The New York Times and the Post both reported late Tuesday that several people from the list of Saudi agents are linked to Saudi security services and the crown prince.

According to CNN, lawmakers who have been party to USA intelligence reports on the disappearance of Mr Kashoggi have said there is little doubt as to who is responsible.

He arrived there from Riyadh where, he said, the Saudis "made a commitment that they would show the entire world the results of their investigation".

There was also new political pressure on Trump with nine senators from the opposition Democrats writing to express "significant concerns about conflicts of interest" between Trump and Saudi Arabia concerning deals done through his real estate empire.

Mr Khashoggi is a USA resident and columnist for the Washington Post newspaper who went into self-imposed exile a year ago after reportedly being warned by Saudi officials to stop criticising the crown prince's policies.

Turkey has not shared with the USA government or European allies graphic audio or video evidence, seven US and European security officials told Reuters. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. The leaks stopped when President Donald Trump suggested that he was taking the accusations seriously and sent Pompeo to Saudi Arabia for answers.

The US president wants King Salman and OPEC to boost production to drive down high oil prices, caused in part by the coming re-imposition of oil sanctions on Iran in November.

Soon thereafter he told reporters that he will find out soon about what happened to Khashoggi.