Despite mounting pressure from various quarters on alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, United States President Donald Trump has said that he does not want to walk away from Saudi Arabia.
While responding to a question by Fox Business Network Trump said that Washington needed Saudi Arabia in the fight against terrorism. “Saudi Arabia has been a very important ally of ours in the Middle East. We are stopping Iran. We’re not trying to stop, we’re stopping Iran,” Trump said.
His statement came in the backdrop of rapidly mounting global condemnation of Saudi Arabia over the mystery of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Earlier, n an interview with The Associated Press, Donald Trump compared the case of Khashoggi to the allegations of sexual assault leveled against Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing.
Meanwhile, Turkish crime scene investigators left the Saudi consul general’s residence in Istanbul after examining the premises for more than nine hours. The consul general Mohammat Otaibi has already left for home. Saudi newspaper “Sabaq” reports that Otaibi has been relieved of his responsibility for pending investigation.
Aljazeera reports that “Samples” were recovered from the scene. However it was not clear, “Whether these were samples of DNA or blood samples”. Apparently, according to sources, “ these were quite convincing in terms of evidence.”
As per preliminary evidence, a video shows a car drove from the Saudi consulate to the consul general’s residence on the day Khashoggi disappeared.
Earlier, on Wednesday, A pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak published a gruesome recount of Khashoggi’s alleged killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. It reported that Khashoggi was killed within minutes of entering the consulate and his torturers severed his fingers during the interrogation. His killers later beheaded and dismembered him, it said, citing an alleged audio recording.
Earlier reports said that Khashoggi was wearing Apple watch synced with his mobile left outside with his fiancée Hetti Cengiz. The sound recording was simultaneously transferred to the mobile. However, Turkish officials have not disclosed the source of the audio recording.
The report said Saudi Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi could be heard on the tape telling those allegedly torturing Khashoggi: “Do this outside; you’re going to get me in trouble.” Reacting to this the killers replied: “Shut up if you want to live when you return to [Saudi] Arabia.”
A New York Times report cited a senior Turkish official confirming the details published by Yeni Safak.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, when asked about the said recording, said: “I don’t have anything to say about that.” However,aA State Department spokeswoman later said Pompeo had not heard such audio.
There are reports that Turkey has not shared the audio and video recording of the heinous crime, the most important evidence, with US or European allies. However, they have collected some intelligence through their own sources and methods, which partly confirms news reports based on leaks of audio recordings.