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Pompeo expected in Riyadh amid Khashoggi controversy

By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Washington (dpa) - US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was expected in Riyadh on Tuesday, amid US media reports that Saudi Arabia is preparing to say that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in an interrogation that went wrong.

US President Donald Trump ordered Pompeo to Saudi Arabia on Monday, after speaking to Saudi King Salman on the phone.

The president suggested "rogue killers" played a role in Khashoggi‘s disappearance and said the king had firmly denied any involvement.

Turkey, where Khashoggi disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, has said it believes he was murdered inside the building, allegations which Saudi Arabia has already denied.

Late Monday, the New York Times and the broadcaster CNN reported that Riyadh was preparing alternative explanations aimed at easing the political crisis it has sparked.

Citing anonymous sources, CNN said that Riyadh was planning to say that he had been killed during an interrogation that was intended to lead to his abduction.

The New York Times, citing a source familiar with Saudi Arabia‘s plans, said Riyadh would say he was mistakenly killed by an over-eager intelligence official who then sought to cover up the botched job.

Such claims would appear to contradict information given by Turkish officials, who have said 15 Saudi operatives flew in and out of Istanbul the day Khashoggi disappeared, including an autopsy specialist.

Meanwhile, Turkish officials wrapped up a nine-hour search of the consulate in the early hours of Tuesday, Turkish news agency Anadolu reported. It was the first time they had been allowed into the building following Khashoggi‘s disappearance.


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