Saudi mulling over admission that journalist was killed in botched abduction

President Donald Trump talks with reporters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington

President Donald Trump talks with reporters in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington

US President Donald Trump said on Monday "rogue killers" may have been behind the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and despatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to meet King Salman over the case.

On Monday afternoon, CNN drew a similar picture of the Saudis' impending response, reporting that Riyadh would "acknowledge Jamal Khashoggi's death was the result of an interrogation that went wrong, one that was meant to lead to his abduction from Turkey".

Turkey has flatly accused Saudi Arabia of murdering and dismembering Khashoggi when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain marriage documents.

Saudi Arabia is reportedly ready to concede that a missing Saudi writer was killed in its consulate in Istanbul during a botched interrogation, CNN reported Monday.

CNN's report said the nation had not given its clearance for the attack on Khashoggi, and said "Those involved will be held responsible".

US President Donald Trump on Saturday threatened to "punish" Riyadh if it was proven to be behind the suspected killing.

The press agency also released a statement of support from the government of Yemen, which Saudi Arabia is supporting in a protracted war against Iran-backed Houthi rebels in the Middle East's most impoverished country.

"It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers", he added. "I told Ambassador bin Salman that he should expect a very negative response from both sides of the aisle in Congress if Mr Khashoggi was in fact kidnapped and murdered". Cengiz waits for him outside for four hours, but he never comes out and is told by consulate staff that he left out a back door.

Reports say that the USA and Britain are considering boycotting a major worldwide conference in Saudi Arabia after the disappearance.

Turkish officials said that a Saudi hit squad killed Mr. Khashoggi and dismembered his body to smuggle it out of the country.

Investigators have been arriving at the building in Istanbul - first a Saudi team followed by Turkish forensic police. But Khashoggi's disappearance has led several business leaders and media outlets to back out of the upcoming investment conference in Riyadh, called the Future Investment Initiative.

While Trump commented at the White House, Turkish crime scene investigators finally entered the Saudi consulate to comb the building where Khashoggi was last seen alive two weeks ago.

Private companies have already taken a tough stance towards the allegations that Saudi Arabia possibly killed Khashoggi, a major critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Khashoggi's fate has troubled Washington and Saudi Arabia's other traditional Western allies.

Saudi Arabia's Public Investment Fund (PIF), which hosts the conference, has tentatively committed $20 billion to an infrastructure investment planned with Blackstone Group.

The furor over Khashoggi has dealt a serious setback to Prince Mohammed's aggressive pitch for the kingdom as a destination for foreign investment.

People walk past the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Oct. 7, 2018.

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