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Suspects in Saudi journalist case tied to top prince

Suspects in Saudi journalist case tied to top prince

The high-level Turkish official told the AP that police found "certain evidence" of Khashoggi's slaying at the consulate, without elaborating.

CNN reported on Monday that after denying for two weeks any role in Khashoggi's disappearance, Saudi Arabia was preparing to say he died in a botched interrogation.

Turkey has wanted to search the consulate for days.

The Turkish inspection team included a prosecutor, a deputy prosecutor, anti-terror police and forensic experts, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported. Leaked surveillance video show diplomatic cars travelled to the consul general's home shortly after Khashoggi went into the consulate. The official, who spoke on condition of anonymity in line with government regulations, gave no timeline for the search. Turkish officials fear Saudi officials killed and dismembered the writer inside the mission.

Turkish officials said, overall, there are 15 suspects, ten of whom still need to be identified.

The third suspect is identified as Thaar Ghaleb al-Barbi, who in 2017 was promoted to the rank of lieutenant in the Saudi royal guard for his valor in the defense of the crown prince's palace in Jeddah, according to Saudi media. The king greeted Pompeo by saying: "I hope you are comfortable here".

Pompeo was dispatched by President Trump on Monday to meet with leaders in both countries.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo smiled and shook hands during meetings in Riyadh with Saudi King Salman and his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom Khashoggi wrote critically about in The Washington Post while in self-imposed exile in America.

Saudi officials have been in and out of the building since Khashoggi's disappearance without being stopped.

More news: Donald Trump vows 'severe punishment' if Saudi Arabia killed Jamal Khashoggi

In its report, the Times published photographs of diplomat Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb and others allegedly involved in Khashoggi's murder.

Saudi Arabia, for its part, strongly denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance and say that he left the consulate soon after arriving. The source said Turkish authorities had not asked him to leave.

House Speaker Paul Ryan said Wednesday that the disappearance and alleged killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is "really disturbing" and could be problematic for the U.S. -Saudi relationship.

On October 2, the International Day of Non-violence, journalist and a contributor to the Washington Post, Jamal Khashoggi entered Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul, Turkey and he has not been seen since.

Turkish leaders claim they have evidence the Saudis "interrogated, tortured and then murdered" Khashoggi. Saudi officials previously have called the allegations "baseless", but reports in USA media on Tuesday suggested the kingdom may acknowledge the writer was killed there.

Saudi Arabia is one of the closest USA partners in a bid to undermine Iran and also a massive client of the US weapons industry.

Saudi Arabia abruptly severed relations with Canada and demanded an apology after Freeland called for the immediate release of detained activists, including Samar Badawi, a champion of women's rights and the sister of detained blogger Raif Badawi.

"I think we have to find out what happened first", Trump told the Associated Press in an interview on Tuesday.