The Saudi Arabian government is preparing to a release a report claiming Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed as a result of a botched interrogation, CNN reports.
The interrogation was reportedly supposed to lead to Khashoggi’s abduction from Turkey. According to CNN, the report will likely claim the interrogation was conducted without clearance or transparency.
The CNN report comes hours after President Donald Trump told reporters that King Salman of Saudi Arabia strongly denied his government had any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance and said “rogue killers” could be responsible.
Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documents to marry his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.
Cengiz said she waited outside the consulate for hours but Khashoggi never came out.
Saudi Arabia has strongly denied any involvement in the reporter’s disappearance and claimed Khashoggi left the consulate, but provided no evidence to back up their claims.
Turkish officials have accused Saudi Arabia of sending in a 15-man team to interrogate, kill, and dismember Khashoggi’s body with a bone saw before flying it back to his native country.
Khashoggi was once a prominent member of the Saudi kingdom and a top adviser to the royal family. But he left Saudi Arabia roughly a year ago over fears for his safety after writing articles critical of the government, particularly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Khashoggi was US resident and wrote articles for The Washington Post, splitting his time between Virginia, London, and Istanbul since he left Saudi Arabia in June 2017.
In a “60 Minutes” interview that aired on Sunday, Trump said there would be consequences if it turned out Saudi Arabia had anything to do with Khashoggi’s mysterious disappearance.
But has has also expressed a reluctance to punish the kingdom economically or militarily, especially in terms of reducing the sale of billions of dollars worth of US arms to the Saudis.