Khashoggi was tortured before being killed: report

A pro-government Turkish newspaper on Wednesday published a gruesome recounting of the alleged slaying of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, just as America’s top diplomat arrived in the country for talks over The Washington Post columnist’s disappearance. The report by Yeni Şafak adds to the ever-increasing pressure on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Mr. Khashoggi, who vanished on October 2 while visiting the consulate to pick up paperwork he needed to get married. U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo held separate meetings with Turkey’s President and Foreign Minister for around 40 minutes each on Wednesday in the Turkish capital, Ankara. No details were immediately released about the talks with President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu. The three posed for photos, but said nothing together in front of reporters. Mr. Pompeo met with Saudi King Salman and his son, the 33-year-old Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on Tuesday. Before leaving Riyadh, Mr. Pompeo told reporters that the Saudi leaders “made no exceptions on who they would hold accountable.” “They made a commitment to hold anyone connected to any wrongdoing that may be found accountable for that, whether they are a senior officer or official,” Mr. Pompeo said. No major decisions are made outside of the ultraconservative Kingdom’s ruling Al Saud family. Mr. Khashoggi had fled the country last year amid the rise of Prince Mohammed, whom he wrote critically about in the Post . The Yeni Şafak report cited what it described as an audio recording of Mr. Khashoggi’s slaying, which it said showed that the writer was tortured. The newspaper said Saudi Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi could be heard on the tape, telling those allegedly torturing Mr. Khashoggi: “Do this outside; you’re going to get me in trouble.” The newspaper said one of the Saudis torturing Mr. Khashoggi replied: “Shut up if you want to live when you return to (Saudi) Arabia.” Saudi officials have not responded to repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press in recent days. Mr. Al-Otaibi left Turkey on Tuesday afternoon, Turkish state media reported. Security services in Turkey have used pro-government media to leak details of Mr. Khashoggi’s case. Certain evidence On Tuesday, a high-level Turkish official told the AP that police found “certain evidence” of Mr. Khashoggi’s slaying at the consulate, without elaborating. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the investigation was ongoing. Police plan to search the Saudi Consul General’s home, as well as some of the country’s diplomatic vehicles, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu said. Leaked surveillance video shows that cars travelled to the Consul’s home shortly after Mr. Khashoggi went into the consulate.

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