is considering saying that missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in a botched interrogation, according to media reports, an explanation that could deflect suspicions the royal court ordered him killed and give the US and Turkey
a way out of confronting a regional powerhouse.
The possible narrative of an operation gone wrong, reported by CNN, the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal, was being floated as US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo
arrived in Riyadh
to discuss the disappearance of Khashoggi, a Saudi government critic last seen entering the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul
on October 2. President Donald Trump
said he couldn’t confirm that account, but has suggested a “rogue killer” might be to blame.
Turkish officials have said privately that Khashoggi, a contributor to the Washington Post, was killed inside the building.
Skeptics say it’s unlikely an interrogation could have happened without the knowledge of the royal court, which has maintained that Khashoggi exited the consulate unharmed.
Some material at consulate painted over, says Erdogan
On the other hand, Turkey's President Tayyip Erdogan said some materials at the Saudi consulate have been painted over. Speaking after Turkish police entered the consulate for the first time and searched the premises for nine hours, Erdogan told reporters that they were looking into toxic materials at the mission.
“The investigation is looking into many things such as toxic materials and those materials being removed by painting them over,” Erdogan told reporters in Ankara.