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Jamal Khashoggi: Pompeo to meet Erdoğan as gory reports of killing emerge

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A Turkish forensic police officer carries a box at the Saudi consulate on Wednesday

A Turkish daily on Wednesday claimed it has accessed audio recordings that indicate Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was tortured before he was decapitated inside Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish police on October 16 undertook an eight-hour search at the consulate, taking away soil and DNA samples, but a search expected at the consul's residence has so far not taken place.

Turkish investigators enter the Saudi consul general's residence in Istanbul as the investigation into journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance expands.

It was the second-such extraordinary search of land considered under global law to be Saudi sovereign soil after Turkish police searched the consulate through the early morning on Tuesday.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Tuesday the US 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".

It is suspected that the Washington Post columnist, who was critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed while visiting the Gulf kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

"What we have right now is Mike Pompeo, who's terrific, who's doing a great job, Secretary of State, is with the King right now and the Crown Prince literally as we speak and we're trying to find out what went on", Trump answered. Turkish police believe he was killed by a special team of 15 Saudi officials, but Riyadh has dismissed the claim as "baseless".

One of the men appears to be bodyguard Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a regular member of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's entourage.

There have also been reports that Turkey has audio and visual evidence of the journalist's murder inside the consulate.

Trump has resisted any action, pointing to huge USA weapons deals pending with Saudi Arabia and saying that sanctions could end up hurting the American economy.

In an interview with the Associated Press Tuesday, Trump likened the Saudis to Supreme Court justice Brett Kavanaugh, asserting that they were being unfairly accused of the murder. Local TV channels have broadcast what they said was footage of a vehicle exiting the consulate premises and parking at the residence two hours after Khashoggi disappeared.

It added that in a phone call with Salman, U.S. "President Trump signaled that he is more than ready to assist in that dodge".

The Washington Post, citing USA intelligence intercepts, says the Saudi crown prince ordered an operation to trap Khashoggi.

Yeni Safak, a strongly pro-government newspaper, said Mr al-Otaibi could be heard telling those allegedly torturing Mr Khashoggi: "Do this outside; you're going to get me in trouble".

17 that Saudi Arabia Consul Mohammad Utaybi's voice could be heard in one of the recordings of Khashoggi's "interrogation". The case has put Saudi Arabia under pressure from close allies.

Another pictured is reportedly forensic expert Dr Salah Muhammed al Tubaigy.

On Monday, Pompeo met with the Saudi royal, releasing a statement that night saying, "I emphasized the importance of conducting a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation, and the Saudi leadership pledged to deliver precisely on that".

Asked whether he'd instructed the FBI to investigate the case, Trump responded: "I'm not going to tell you".

Pompeo meanwhile said Riyadh should be given a few more days to complete its own probe into Khashoggi's disappearance.

"The timing of this is no coincidence", an American official involved in Syria policy said on condition of anonymity.

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