Saudi king orders probe in Khashoggi case, Turkey to search consulate

Jamal Khashoggi in Manama Bahrain. Turkey claims that Khashoggi who wrote for The Washington Post was killed inside a Saudi diplomatic mission in Turkey

As worldwide pressure mounted on Saudi Arabia over the case of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom came out swinging Sunday, threatening to retaliate and spelling out the ways in which Riyadh would punish the U.S. if it imposed sanctions.

The Saudi Embassy in Washington offered a milder statement in a tweet on Sunday.

During an interview with "60 Minutes" that aired Sunday night, President Donald Trump threatened "severe punishment" against Saudi Arabia if it was found to have been involved in the journalist's disappearance.

The statement was issued as global concern grew over the writer who vanished on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago.

Saudi Arabia has begun an internal investigation into the disappearance of a prominent journalist at its Istanbul consulate and could hold people accountable if the evidence warrants it, according to a Saudi official.

But a Turkish diplomatic source said it was expected that the search, a joint operation with Saudi authorities, would "take place towards the evening" Monday.

Prince Khaled al-Faisal, a senior member of Saudi Arabia's ruling family and senior adviser to King Salman, has met with Erdogan to discuss Khashoggi's disappearance, two sources with knowledge of the matter told Reuters without providing details.

The incident is threatening to spark a geopolitical crisis as the US and Turkey demand answers from Saudi Arabia, and the kingdom vows to retaliate against any punitive measures imposed over the critic's fate.

Saudi Arabia is the world's top oil exporter, and Kudlow was asked on "Fox News Sunday" whether a Saudi response could affect energy prices.

On Sunday, the Saudi stock market dropped as much as 7% following President Trump's threats of "severe punishment", indicating that investors are spooked.

Media companies and some technology executives have pulled out of a major Saudi investment conference dubbed "Davos in the Desert", scheduled for next week in Riyadh, because of growing outrage over the disappearance. Reportedly, the Turkish officials claim to be in possession of audio and video recordings of the journalist being interrogated, killed and then dismembered inside the consulate, however, no such recordings have been made public yet.

Cengiz, a doctoral student at a university in Istanbul, wrote: "If the allegations are true, and Jamal has been murdered by the errand boys of Mohammed bin Salman, he is already a martyr".

In an article titled "Silicon Valley's Saudi Arabia Problem", the New York Times outlines how liberal Silicon Valley tech firms struggle with the issue of taking money from Saudi Arabian investors while ignoring the countries many human rights violations.

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