Saudis reportedly preparing to claim Jamal Khashoggi was killed as a result of a botched interrogation

  • The Saudi government is preparing to a release a report claiming that the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed as a result of a botched interrogation, CNN reported on Monday.
  • Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement in his disappearance.
  • US President Donald Trump told reporters earlier Monday that Saudi Arabia’s king strongly denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance.
  • Khashoggi went missing after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month.

The Saudi government is preparing to a release a report claiming that the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed as a result of a botched interrogation, CNN reported on Monday, citing two sources.

The interrogation was reportedly supposed to lead to Khashoggi’s abduction from Turkey. CNN described one source as saying the report is likely to claim that the interrogation was conducted without clearance or transparency.

Earlier Monday, US President Donald Trump told reporters that King Salman of Saudi Arabia strongly denied that his government had any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance. Trump suggested that “rogue killers” could be responsible.

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documents to marry his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. She has said she waited outside the consulate for hours but Khashoggi never came out.

Saudi Arabia has denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance and claimed that he left the consulate, though it provided no evidence.

Turkish officials have accused Saudi Arabia of sending a team of 15 men to interrogate and kill Khashoggi and dismember his body with a bone saw before flying it back to his native country.

Khashoggi was once a prominent member of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a top adviser to the royal family. But he left the country in June 2017, fearing for his safety after writing articles critical of the government, particularly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Khashoggi was a US resident and wrote for The Washington Post, splitting his time among Virginia, London, and Istanbul since leaving Saudi Arabia.

In a “60 Minutes” interview that aired on Sunday, Trump said there would be consequences if it turned out Saudi Arabia had anything to do with Khashoggi’s disappearance. But he has also expressed a reluctance to punish the kingdom economically or militarily, especially in terms of reducing the sale of billions of dollars’ worth of US arms to the Saudis.

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