Mnuchin Won't be at Saudi Conference After Disappearance

WaPo Reluctantly Runs Khashoggi's Final Column

This in the wake of the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi as evidence piles up the journalist was tortured at the direction of Saudi prince MBS, inside the Saudi consulate in Turkey, that he was murdered during the interrogation, and his body cut up and removed in diplomatic bags.

The Post initially held off on publishing the column amid hope for Mr Khashoggi's return, Ms Attiah said. "This is the last piece of his I will edit for The Post", she wrote.

Officials from a joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case early Thursday after searching the residence as well as the Saudi Consulate building in Istanbul.

Khashoggi's disappearance has hurt the reputation of Saudi Arabia's crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, whose close relationship with President Donald Trump's son-in-law and senior adviser Jared Kushner has put him at the center of the administration's Middle East policy.

Forensic teams had already visited the consulate once this week, going there Monday to search for clues to what happened to Khashoggi after he entered the diplomatic outpost on October 2. The Washington Post reported that Turkey had informed U.S. officials about audio and video recordings suggesting that the journalist had been murdered in the Saudi Consulate.

A critic of Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Mr Khashoggi was living in self-imposed exile in the United States and writing opinion pieces for the Washington Post before he vanished.

Khashoggi noted how some journalists were imprisoned for speaking out against Arab governments as leaders exercised an apparent "free rein" to silence the media. Western diplomats suspect that the kingdom will also compensate Turkey for its willingness to launch a joint investigation on Khashoggi's disappearance - a payback that could come in the form of large-scale debt relief, strategic buyouts or other arrangements that boost Turkey's ailing economy.

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Khashoggi's editor said the article "perfectly captures his commitment and passion for freedom in the Arab world".

Mr Khashoggi first began writing for the Post's opinion section in September 2017, and his columns criticised the prince and the direction of the Saudi kingdom.

Saudi officials have denied the allegations but it has done nothing to prevent the growing backlash against the regime across the world. Trump said the United States has asked Turkey for any audio or video evidence.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Thursday he will not attend an investment conference in Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia's al-Arabiya broadcaster claimed the 15 men were "tourists".

The United States and President Donald Trump have stopped short of condemning the conservative kingdom amid growing concerns over how Saudi Arabia's relations with the US and the rest of the world would be affected if it emerged that the country orchestrated Khashoggi's killing.

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