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Trump on Khashoggi Case: Saudi Arabia being treated as 'guilty until proven innocent'

Wednesday October 17, 2018 2:58 PM, & Agencies

Trump Clean Chit to Saudi on Khashoggi

Washington: At the backdrop of wild allegations against Saudi Arabia over the sudden disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi from Istanbul, which the oil-rich nation has termed lies and fabrication with malafide intentions, US President Donald Trump warned against drawing any hasty conclusion.

Cautioning against rushing to blame Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of Khashoggi, Trump told news agency Associated Press that Riyadh was being treated as "guilty until proven innocent".

Trump also said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman had denied knowing what happened to Khashoggi.

In a message posted on Twitter, Trump said that Prince Mohammed had spoken to him on the phone and he "totally denied any knowledge of what took place in their Turkish Consulate".

Trump said he "told me that he has already started, and will rapidly expand, a full and complete investigation into this matter. Answers will be forthcoming shortly".

The phone call coincided with a visit to Saudi Arabia by US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, sent there by Trump to deal with the crisis in relations. This also comes at the backdrop of media reports citing unnamed sources, coming almost on daily basis, giving rise to new theories in Jamal Khashoggi disapperance case.

Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, known for his criticism of Saudi leadership, was last seen alive entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on 2 October. Soon after his disappearance, media reports started taking rounds claiming that he was killed inside the consulate. Saudi Arabia denied killing him and also said Khashoggi left the building unharmed.

Donald Trump had on Monday after talking with Saudi King Salman on phone speculated that "rogue killers" may have been behind the journalist's disappearance.

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