Saudis threaten global economic repercussions if punished for 'murdered' journalist

Saudi men linked to Jamal Khashoggi disappearance leave a hotel

Image Saudi men linked to his disappearance were seen leaving a hotel

US President Donald Trump vowed "severe punishment" for Saudi Arabia if the United States determines that Saudi agents killed Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, calling the journalist's suspected murder "really bad and disgusting".

He said that allegations about orders to murder Khashoggi were "lies" targeting the government, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

"Could it be them?"

Mr Trump has forged closer ties with Saudi Arabia and is under global and domestic pressure to help determine what happened to Mr Khashoggi and punish Saudi Arabia if investigations show its government had him killed.

He says "we're going to get to the bottom of it and there will be severe punishment".

Saudi Arabia has said it had nothing to do with Khashoggi's disappearance, without explaining or offering evidence of how the writer left the consulate and disappeared into Istanbul with his fiancee waiting outside.

Turkey had claimed that they have "shocking evidence" that the senior scribe was killed and dismembered by a group of 15 men, who are considered to have close links with the Saudi government.

The conference is part of Saudi Arabia's Vision 2030 project - the brainchild of the kingdom's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"I think we would've known by now". "There's something - you may be surprised to hear me say that, but there's something really bad and disgusting about that if that were the case".

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Turkish and foreign media who have camped outside the consulate all week noticed the motorcade arriving on Friday but it had not been immediately clear who were the Saudi personnel entering the consulate were.

With the mystery over Khashoggi unresolved after he failed to reappear after walking into the consulate on October 2, a pro-government Turkish daily said the Saudi national had recorded his own interrogation inside the mission on an Apple Watch.

Khashoggi has not been seen since entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get documents for his forthcoming marriage.

"There's a lot at stake", he said.

"Jamal is a Saudi citizen who went missing after leaving the Consulate".

A number of members of Congress have pressed the Trump administration to impose sanctions on the country in response to the Khashoggi affair. "He told me to alert the Turkish authorities if I did not hear from him soon".

The interior minister also stressed the Kingdom's keenness on the interest of its citizens at home and overseas and its keenness in particular to clarify the whole truth about the disappearance of the citizen Jamal Khashoggi.

"Obviously I want to express concern for Mr. Khashoggi and his family", he added.

He says "there are other ways of punishing".

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