Central Intelligence Agency chief hears 'compelling' audio that 'captured' Khashoggi's murder

Geraldine Edwards
October 27, 2018

The crown prince said Saudi Arabia and Turkey would work together "to reach results" in their joint investigation into Khashoggi's death, and he described cooperation between the two countries as "special".

A Saudi Foreign Ministry official says the kingdom is investigating the "regrettable and painful incident of Jamal Khashoggi's death" and forming a committee to hold those responsible accountable. Saudi officials have also said the crown prince had no knowledge of the killing.

When asked about the possible role of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the president replied: "Well, the prince is running things over there more so at this stage. He's running things and so if anybody were going to be, it would be him", Trump said.

Khashoggi, who has been working for The Washington Post as a columnist and is known for his criticism of Saudi authorities, went missing in Istanbul on October 2 after he entered the Saudi consulate and never came out.

He said the killing was planned in advance and called on Saudi Arabia to reveal more details, including where Khashoggi's body was.

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Turkey has dismissed Saudi efforts to blame rogue operatives and urged the kingdom to search "top to bottom" for those responsible for the killing, which has stirred global outrage and condemnation.

Saudi Arabia's latest announcement follows United States media reports that Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel has heard audio recordings believed to capture the journalist's murder.

Mr Trump had previously backed the Saudi's official explanation, characterising the Arab state as a great ally and an important purchaser of USA tanks, bombs and planes.

While addressing the Turkish parliament on Tuesday, Erdogan also condemned the conflicting reports that have emerged surrounding Khashoggi's killing.

"In this particular case I haven't the slightest doubt that the Western allies have got to take a stand over the butchering of Mr Khashoggi", Lord Heseltine told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

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President Tayyip Erdogan has called Khashoggi's murder a "savage killing" and demanded Riyadh punish those responsible, no matter how highly placed.

CIA Director Gina Haspel visited Ankara on Tuesday for talks, with Turkish pro-government media claiming on Wednesday intelligence officials shared evidence with her.

It's not clear whether President Donald Trump has broached the topic of the Khashoggi family's travel in his discussions with the Saudi government over Khashoggi's death.

Riyadh initially denied having any part in Mr Khashoggi's disappearance, before later claiming he died in a "fist fight".

Khashoggi's doppelganger was seen at various locations after the scribe was last seen walking into the Saudi consulate, with CNN reporting that the body double was seen exiting the consulate's back door after 90 minutes of Khashoggi's arrival at the premises.

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Turkish investigators last week searched the Saudi consulate and consul general's residence in Istanbul as they hunted for clues to Khashoggi's fate.

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