Iran stays quiet on Khashoggi case

Turkish police officers prepare to enter the Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul

One explanation for Khashoggi's disappearance pushed by Riyadh, as well as President Trump, has been that a "Saudi rogue agent" had killed the journalist, and that bin Salman did not know about.

But the Saudis have faced intense criticism over the Khashoggi incident, which comes just after USA senators almost succeeded in cutting off support for Riyadh's air campaign against rebels in Yemen, which a United Nations report says has killed thousands of civilians.

Security services in Turkey have used pro-government media to leak details of Khashoggi's case, adding to the pressure on the kingdom.

Overnight, Donald Trump compared the growing global condemnation of Saudi Arabia's alleged part in Mr Khashoggi's disappearance to his Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh being accused of sexual assault.

Trump has taken a less aggressive stance toward the Saudis, suggesting on Monday after speaking with Saudi King Salman that perhaps "rogue killers" were behind the disappearance of Khashoggi, a sharp critic of the crown prince.

Saudi officials have repeatedly denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance and say they have no information about his whereabouts.

Pompeo thanked Saudi King Salman for his commitment to a thorough, transparent investigation of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance, while the crown prince assured him that the USA and Saudi Arabia are "old, strong allies".

Mr Khashoggi was once an adviser to the Saudi royal family but fell out of favour with the country's rulers and went into self-imposed exile.

Turkish police had been expected to search the Saudi consul's Istanbul residence on Tuesday.

The New York Times confirmed the identities of nine people in the group on October 16, adding that at least four of them were previously part of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's entourage on foreign trips.

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Saudi officials have not responded to repeated requests for comment from The Associated Press in recent days.

Donald Trump, the United States president, is under growing pressure to take action after a key Senate ally accused Saudi Arabia's crown prince of ordering the murder of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Despite the lurid allegations published in media loyal to him, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has also taken a circumspect line in the case, saying his priority is to uncover the truth through an investigation. The secretary of state described the visit as "highly successful" and said the Saudis had promised to carry out a "thorough, complete and transparent investigation". But this is the first time Turkish media claimed to have heard them. "Here we go again with, you know, you're guilty until proven innocent".

Khashoggi's alleged killers tortured the journalist during interrogation by cutting his fingers off, Yeni Safak said, claiming it had heard multiple recordings.

"This guy has got to go", said Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from SC, speaking on Fox television.

Pompeo was in Saudi Arabia for meetings with bin Salman.

"I hope you are comfortable here", the king told Pompeo, according to the reporters.

On Monday, CNN cited two sources as saying the Saudis are preparing a report saying the journalist's death resulted from a botched interrogation.

"Of course, it's obvious the whole thing is in the interests of Iran because on the one hand it has caused serious differences between America and Saudi Arabia, and on the other hand, the young prince's reforms in Saudi Arabia have been destroyed in the public opinion of the world", he added.

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