United States increases pressure on Saudis over writer's disappearance

Saudi writer 'murdered' in consulate

Turkey demands convincing explanation on 'missing' Saudi journalist

Turkish police investigating the case said on Saturday that 15 Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and entered the consulate while Khashoggi was inside.

That means Turkish police can not enter and search the consulate unless they get permission from the Saudi authorities, which they have now reportedly received.

Saudi Arabia, which has denied the accusations, is under huge worldwide pressure, including from the USA and the European Union, to support a "thorough and open" probe into the journalist's disappearance. Saudi Arabia denies this.

"Now when this person enters, whose duty is it to prove that he left or not?" The Post, citing anonymous USA officials familiar with the intelligence, said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered an operation to lure Jamal Khashoggi from his home in Virginia to Saudi Arabia and then detain him.

"I have left my home, my family and my job, and I am raising my voice", Khashoggi wrote in September 2017.

Then Khashoggi said that "may be (his friend) was talking critically over something in a dinner party", hinting out that people spy on each other in the Saudi Kingdom.

The programme has released audio of the conversation, saying that although it would not normally do so, it had chose to make an exception "in light of the circumstances".

What's been the reaction to the disappearance?

Turkey's foreign ministry said Saudi Arabia will allow Turkish investigators into its Istanbul consulate to probe the disappearance and alleged murder of Khashoggi.

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United Nations experts have also demanded a "prompt independent and worldwide investigation" into his disappearance.

The Washington Post reported Wednesday evening that USA intelligence intercepts outlined a Saudi plan to detain Khashoggi.

Khashoggi has been one of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's most prominent critics.

"Is it possible for there to be no camera systems at the Saudi Arabia consulate, where the event took place?", Erdogan was quoted as saying by Hurriyet.

Saudi Ambassador to the United States Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi Crown Prince's brother, echoed these comments in a statement, adding that his country has sent a security team, with Turkey's approval, to assist in the investigation.

When was he last seen? Footage emerged Tuesday showing Khashoggi entering the building the week before. So far, the kingdom has offered no evidence in the past seven days to show that Khashoggi ever left the building, as a new surveillance photo surfaced showed him walking in its main entrance.

The Sabah newspaper, which is close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, published images of what it referred to as the "assassination squad", apparently taken at passport control at the airport. "We have jobs, we have a lot of things happening in this country".

American Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said on Tuesday "everything today points to" Khashoggi's murder last week inside the Saudi consulate. But if Khashoggi is dead, the Saudi government certainly had a motive to kill him. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) said in a string of tweets Monday that "if there is any truth to the allegations of wrongdoing by the Saudi government it would be devastating to the US-Saudi relationship and there will be a heavy price to be paid - economically and otherwise". Mr Khashoggi, 59, has more than 1.6 million Twitter followers and has written for the Washington Post opinion section.

White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said national security adviser John Bolton and presidential senior adviser Jared Kushner spoke Tuesday to Crown Prince Mohammed about Khashoggi.

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