Suspects in Khashoggi case had ties to Saudi crown prince: Report
One of the suspects identified by Turkey in the disappearance of the Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was a frequent companion of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — seen disembarking from airplanes with him in Paris and Madrid and photographed standing guard during his visits this year to Houston, Boston and the United Nations, the New York Times reported on Oct. 16.
According to the report, three others are linked by witnesses and other records to the Saudi crown prince’s security detail.
A fifth is a forensic doctor who holds senior positions in the Saudi Interior Ministry and medical establishment, a figure of such stature that he could be directed only by a high-ranking Saudi authority.
The New York Times has confirmed independently that at least nine of 15 suspects identified by Turkish authorities worked for the Saudi security services, military or other government ministries. One of them, Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, was a diplomat assigned to the Saudi Embassy in London in 2007, according to a British diplomatic roster. He traveled extensively with the crown prince, perhaps as a bodyguard.
Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said Oct. 17 Saudi Arabia promised to ensure a thorough probe and accountability over the missing Saudi journalist but stood by denials the kingdom killed him.
President Donald Trump dispatched Pompeo on an urgent mission to Riyadh to defuse a crisis over Khashoggi.
After a full day of talks, a statement from Pompeo and a tweet by Trump said that the Saudi leadership "strongly denied knowledge of what took place" in the consulate, without outright rejecting that an incident occurred.
Officials in Turkey, where Pompeo heads on Oct. 17, say that the Saudis killed Khashoggi inside the consulate. The Saudis earlier insisted, without evidence, that Khashoggi left freely while later reportedly hinted that rogue elements could be responsible -- a theory that Trump has mused about aloud.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan met Pompeo at Ankara's Esenboğa airport on Oct. 17.
The meeting, who was also attended by Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu, presidential spokesperson İbrahim Kalın and National Intelligence Agency (MİT) Undersecretary Hakan Fidan, took 40 minutes.