Erdogan: Materials in Saudi consulate may have been painted over

A Turkish forensic works in the Saudi consulate

A Turkish forensic works in the Saudi consulate

Saudi Arabia previously called the allegation "baseless", but U.S. media reports suggest the Saudis may soon acknowledge Khashoggi was killed there, perhaps as part of a botched interrogation.

King Salman emphasised the importance of the Turkey-Saudi relationship and said no-one should be able to "undermine the strength of this relationship", Saudi's official media reported.

Overnight, Turkish forensic teams searched the consulate building in Istanbul where Khashoggi was last seen entering.

Trump's comments came after a telephone conversation with King Salman, father of the crown prince, the first such talks since the crisis erupted.

"The secretary and the foreign minister agreed on the importance of a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation", State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said later.

The UN human rights chief called Tuesday for the lifting of the immunity of officials who might be involved in Khashoggi's disappearance.

The crown prince "told me that he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter". The source said the Saudi statement, to be released via a joint investigation being carried out by Turkey and Saudi Arabia, will make it clear that the general exceeded his authority and will be held accountable.

Concern over Khashoggi's disappearance has prompted media organizations and a growing number of guests to pull out of a "Davos in the Desert" investment conference set for October 23-25, which has become the biggest show for investors to promote Prince Mohammed's reform vision.

The kingdom's rulers have come under mounting worldwide pressure to disclose Khashoggi's whereabouts, after Turkish officials said they believe he was murdered and subsequently dismembered on consulate grounds. "The MBS figure is to me toxic". After over three hours work, the teams were still inside the consulate.

Despite the outcry, the case poses a dilemma for the United States, Britain and other Western nations.

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"Under worldwide law, both a forced disappearance and an extra-judicial killing are very serious crimes, and immunity should not be used to impede investigations into what happened and who is responsible", Bachelet said. It is also a military ally and an opponent of Iran. Dutch Finance Minister Wopke Hoekstra told the Dutch parliament he most likely would not attend.

Reports overnight by US media suggest Saudi Arabia soon may concede Khashoggi was killed at the consulate in an interrogation.

The body of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi was cut into pieces after he was killed two weeks ago at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, a Turkish official told CNN on Tuesday.

There is also evidence of the moment that Khashoggi was killed, the source said. Turkish officials have said he was killed and dismembered.

Khashoggi, a familiar face on Arab talk shows, moved to the United States previous year fearing retribution for his criticism of Prince Mohammed, who has cracked down on dissent with arrests.

Asked what Trump should do earlier in the day, Graham said, "It's up to him", adding: "I know what I'm going to do, I'm going to sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia".

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham said Tuesday the USA should "sanction the hell out of Saudi Arabia" over the incident and said he would never again work with the crown prince, assailing him as "toxic" and calling him a "wrecking ball".

Watch the clip above courtesy of Fox News.

The Saudi riyal fell to its lowest in two years and its global bond prices slipped over fears that foreign investment could shrink amid worldwide pressure.

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