Saudis should get 'a few more days' to investigate journalist's disappearance: Pompeo

Saudi journalist Global Opinions columnist for the Washington Post and former editor-in-chief of Al Arab News Channel Jamal Khashoggi offers remarks during POMED's

Dutch finance minister cancels visit to Saudi investment conference

Published reports are now connecting the Saudi royal family to the suspects in the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Sources told CNN that a group of Saudi men whom Turkish officials believe are connected to Khashoggi's apparent killing were led by a high-ranking intelligence officer, with one source saying he was close to the inner circle of the kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

In the introduction to Khashoggi's column - which was accompanied by a photo of the smiling writer - the Post's Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah said the newspaper held off on publishing it in the hopes that he would return.

"I wouldn't read too much into canceling the trip", said Thomas Wright, director of the Center on the United States and Europe at the Brookings Institution."It's not a sign that they're getting tough - going to this event is more hassle than it's worth and it's a good way of acting tough when they're not actually being tough".

In a sorrowful note atop the column, Khashoggi's editor explained why the Post chose to publish the column Wednesday, almost three weeks after his disappearance.

US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin is the latest high-profile figure to drop out from a Saudi investment conference scheduled for next week in Riyadh, as pressure continues to mount on Saudi leaders to explain what happened to prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Turkish authorities say Khashoggi was killed October 2 during a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a document required to get married. He admitted he had learned little from the Saudi royals about what had happened to Khashoggi, who entered the Saudi consulate on October 2 and never left. The Washington Post reported that Turkey had informed USA officials about audio and video recordings suggesting that the journalist had been murdered in the Saudi Consulate.

"We'll find out, we'll get down to the bottom of it", Trump said of the Saudi investigation.

The paper said a Saudi team immediately grabbed the journalist after he entered the consulate, cutting off his fingers and later decapitating him. Flying back home, Pompeo remained positive about an ongoing Saudi probe into Khashoggi's disappearance, but stressed answers need to come soon.

Middle East experts said the timing of the transfer likely sent a clear message to the Trump administration. "I'm not sure yet that it exists, probably does, possibly does", he said of the audio or video evidence.

"The conditions have not yet been met for me to go to Riyadh", Le Maire told French television's Public Senat.

Reports in Turkish media give gruesome details of what are said to be his final minutes.

How the crown prince emerges from the crisis is a test of how the West will deal with Saudi Arabia in the future.

The New York Times had reported that Mutreb had travelled extensively with the Crown Prince, perhaps as a bodyguard.

"We encourage Turkish-Saudi collaboration and look forward to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia conducting a thorough, credible, transparent, and prompt investigation, as announced".

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