Suspects in Saudi journalist case tied to top prince

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"I received this column from Jamal Khashoggi's translator and assistant the day after Jamal was reported missing in Istanbul", Attiah said.

"The Post held off publishing it because we hoped Jamal would come back to us so that he and I could edit it together", she wrote. "We're just going to allow the process to move forward, the facts to unfold and, as we make determination for ourselves, the United States will decide what the appropriate response will be". Khashoggi had left the country past year amid the rise of Prince Mohammed, whom he wrote critically about in the Post.

On Wednesday and into Thursday, investigators spent nearly nine hours searching the Saudi consul's residence, then moving on to the consulate itself about 200m (650ft) away, according to Reuters news agency.

It remains unclear whether US intelligence officials have seen or heard any recordings at all from inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

The journalist has not been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October, where Turkish officials allege he was killed.

Evidence has grown that Khashoggi may have been murdered, with Turkish media reporting that audio recordings indicate he was tortured and his body dismembered. Riyadh has denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance. "If it exists we have asked for it", Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. Khashoggi also covered the Gulf War, and his time as a foreign correspondent quickly propelled him into a successful career as a journalist and editor in Saudi Arabia.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders announced Thursday morning U.S. Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin has backed out of an upcoming conference in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi, the kingdom's top diplomat in Turkey, left the country and returned to Saudi Arabia on Tuesday.

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After Axios' report surfaced, Pompeo commented on Thursday, saying he has advised President Trump to give Saudi Arabia "a few more days" to wrap up the probebefore deciding on an response.

The consulate building was searched for the first time on Monday.

"Police teams focused on the ground floor of the residence of al-Otaibi", the report said, stressing that the investigation will be extended to other venues. He was allegedly killed during an interrogation inside the consulate, media outlets have reported.

Saudi Arabia and Turkey have set up a joint team to investigate the disappearance.

In an interview with Fox News, a prominent Trump ally in the Senate called on Saudi Arabia to reject the crown prince, known as MBS, who rose to power a year ago and has aggressively sought to soften the kingdom's image overseas and attract foreign investment.

Liam Fox has pulled out of an economic forum in Saudi Arabia, set to be boycotted by a slew of worldwide leaders and corporations, in the wake of the alleged murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

U.S. media and officials have called on Ankara to release the evidence, but the Turkish investigators have not done so yet.

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