Saudi officials say Jamal Khashoggi died in a "fist fight"

Hugh Fox
October 22, 2018

Meanwhile, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that he will make statements about the murdered journalist during his party's parliamentary group meeting on Tuesday.

President Donald Trump says he needs to learn more about the killing of a Saudi journalist and will be working with Congress on the US response. "We feel their pain", Jubeir said in the interview. "The incident will be revealed entirely".

Saudi Arabia finally admitted Friday that its agents killed Khashoggi after he entered the consulate on October 2, but is denying that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman or King Salman were involved.

Saudi Arabian officials do not know details of how dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in their consulate in Istanbul or where his body is, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al Jubeir said on Sunday.

Democrats have repeatedly lashed out at Mr Trump's response as weak and indecisive, and they said his latest reaction fell short as well. "They made a mistake when they killed Jamal Khashoggi".

"I would cut off arms sales". She alerted authorities after the Washington Post columnist didn't emerge from the building. Asked if he thought MBS was behind the killing, a fellow Republican, Senator Bob Corker, told CNN: "Yes, I think he did it. Let's finish this investigation".

The foreign minister called Khashoggi's murder a awful mistake and offered condolences to his family.

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The crown prince has denied any involvement.

Al-Jubeir echoed President Donald Trump's warnings against rushing to judgment against Saudi leaders, saying, "There is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty", and that some have "turned that upside down".

"This is a bad mistake", Jubeir told Fox News.

Trump said: "We'd like to find out where it is and what happened". "And what happened subsequent to that".

Germany joined France and the United Kingdom in a call for a "credible" investigation into the disappearance and death of Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi policies, who was last seen entering Saudi consulate on October 2.

Jubeir was the first senior Saudi official to speak on the record on the matter after Saudi Arabia admitted on Saturday that Khashoggi was dead. His body was then rolled in a rug and given to a local "co-operator" to dispose of. "There was no order for a killing".

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Turkish authorities nearly immediately concluded that Khashoggi was targeted by a 15-man squad of Saudi agents who killed and dismembered him in the diplomatic mission.

The authorities initially dismissed reports that Mr Khashoggi had gone missing inside the consulate as false and said he had left the building soon after entering.

Reuters reported on Sunday it had spoken to a Saudi official who said Mr Khashoggi had died in a chokehold after resisting attempts to return him to Saudi Arabia.

"He was killed in the consulate".

At last 18 people have been detained and several officials have been fired in relation to Khashoggi's death.

Qahtani, described by analysts as the crown prince's media czar and enforcer with a penchant for leveraging social media to promote Saudi interests, on Sunday changed his Twitter biography - reflecting his demotion from adviser to the Royal Court to the head of the Saudi Federation for Cybersecurity.

As suspicion over his disappearance grew, Saudi authorities offered up a variety of freaky explanations, beginning with an assertion that he had left the consulate unharmed.

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"Obviously there's been deception and there's been lies", Mr Trump said on the shifting accounts offered by Riyadh. Still, he defended Saudi Arabia as an "incredible ally" and expressed hope that Mohammed was not involved. "We do not know in terms of details how". "We will ultimately make our judgement based on the credibility of the further explanation we receive about what happened and our confidence that such a shameful event can not and will not ever be repeated". Trump emphasised as he has before how important the US-Saudi relationship is to Washington's regional strategic goals.

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