UK, France, Germany demand response on Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance

A Saudi dissident in Quebec believes the kingdom hacked his phone and listened to calls he had with Jamal Khashoggi prior to the journalist's disappearance.

The news comes as worldwide pressure mounts on Riyadh to explain the journalist's disappearance.

Khashoggi, journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, has been missing since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Saudi Arabia on Sunday warned against threats to punish it over last week's disappearance of Khashoggi, as European leaders piled on pressure. He offered no evidence for why he thought rogue killers might be involved.

Unconfirmed reports said that Khashoggi was likely killed inside the compound, which was denied by Saudi officials as "baseless".

France, Germany and the United Kingdom have also demanded a credible investigation, saying: "We encourage joint Saudi-Turkish efforts in that regard, and expect the Saudi Government to provide a complete and detailed response".

The politics: US President Donald Trump has vowed "severe punishment" if Saudi is found to be linked to the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi.

"There's something really bad and disgusting about that, if that were the case".

"The king firmly denied any knowledge of it", Trump told reporters after speaking with King Salman.

On Sunday, the oil-rich kingdom suggested retaliation if the US were to impose strict measures. The index recovered some ground later to close 3.5% down.

Khashoggi had been living in self-exile in Virginia for the past year.

Meanwhile, a string of high-profile cancellations to this month's Saudi investment conference have seen the likes of JP Morgan Chase chief executive Jamie Dimon and Ford Motor Company chairman Bill Ford pull out of the event on Sunday.

They have yet to publish any evidence of him being slain, though surveillance footage around the consulate shows a convoy of vehicles with diplomatic license plates leaving the Saudi Consulate for the consul's home in Istanbul a little under two hours after Khashoggi's arrival. At least some of them appear to have high-level connections in the Saudi government.

A Turkish official told Reuters on Sunday that the Saudis had said they would allow the consulate to be searched, and that this would happen by the end of the weekend, though he conceded to "flexibility on this date". Meanwhile, his fiancee, Cengiz can be seen waiting outside the building and pacing around outside till the evening.

"To avoid further problems, Turkey has been trying hard not to further strain ties with Saudi Arabia", Tol said. Turkey has called on Saudi officials to provide evidence that he left the consulate.

That's right Mark... the foreign ministers of Britain, France and Germany released a joint statement on Sunday saying they are treating the case with "the utmost seriousness".

She also said Khashoggi saw himself as a "lonely patriot" who was "using his pen for the good of his country".

"If, as they say, this bad murder didn't happen then where is Jamal Khashoggi?"

"I want to assure markets and petroleum consumers around the world that we want to continue support the growth of the global economy, the prosperity of consumers around the world", Al Falih said. "He didn't really know, maybe - I don't want to get into his mind but it sounded to me - maybe these could have been rogue killers".

Turkey on Saturday stepped up pressure on Saudi Arabia by accusing the kingdom of failing to cooperate with a probe into the journalist's disappearance. The Palestinian Authority also put out a statement of support. "Probably if we get, for example, weapons from Russian Federation, it will be more advanced than the weapons released by Congress to Saudi Arabia".

Saudi King Salman spoke to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan by phone on Sunday, the Saudi foreign ministry said, telling Erdogan: "No-one will get (to) undermine the strength of this relationship".

Trump announced he'd dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the kingdom — and anywhere else necessary — to get to the bottom of the apparent demise of Khashoggi, a Saudi who had been living and working in the United States. Hunt later said that if Saudi Arabia were proven to be guilty, "we would have to think about the appropriate way to react in that situation".

A delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in Turkey for the investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance, Turkey's state-run Anadolu Agency reported Friday. Saudi Arabia is leading a coalition of Gulf states in a military campaign against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

According to that narrative, the crown prince had approved an interrogation or rendition of Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, but the intelligence official was tragically incompetent as he eagerly sought to prove himself. The source did caution that this was the latest assessment and no conclusions had been made. "And that could include arms sales, but it could include a bunch of other things, as well". One of those who has been named in the list has been identified as a Saudi forensic expert, reported NDTV.

  • Rogelio Becker