Khashoggi probe: Erdogan vows to uncover truth after Saudi admission

21 October, 2018, 05:52 | Author: Wade Massey
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Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist died inside the Saudi Arabia Consulate in Istanbul, was interviewed by Rula Jebreal for Newsweek magazine.

The kingdom announced a purge of senior officials following the announcement, including Saud al-Qahtani, an adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and General Ahmed al-Asiri, a senior intelligence officials.

Saudi Arabia said that 18 suspects were in custody and that intelligence officials have been fired.

"The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia expresses deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place in this case and affirms the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the attention of the public and to hold accountable all those involved", the Saudi statement read.

"Saud al-Qahtani, a top adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed who was sacked on Saturday in the fallout from Mr. Khashoggi's killing, was the strategist behind the operation, according to United States and Saudi officials, as well as activist organizations", the report said.

Saudi Arabia has plunged into an global crisis over the fate of Khashoggi, who was critical of the crown prince.

The announcement marks the first time that Saudi officials have acknowledged that Jamal Kashoggi was killed inside the consulate in Turkey.

Germany, France, and the European Union all said they want more from Saudi Arabia on Saturday, demanding a full investigation and "accountability" over Khashoggi's death. "It was a good first step", Trump said of the sackings.

He said he would speak with the crown prince.

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On Saturday, Trump reiterated that he did not want to block USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia, saying, "That would hurt us far more than it would. them".

"I think we're getting close to solving a big problem", Trump told reporters Friday, adding that the kingdom had taken a "big step" in acknowledging the death.

Saudi Arabia faces growing criticism from U.S. lawmakers over Khashoggi's slaying.

The king also ordered a restructuring of the intelligence service, to be led by Prince Mohammed, suggesting the prince still retained wide-ranging authority.

The EU's top diplomat Federica Mogherini called for a "continued thorough, credible and transparent investigation, shedding proper clarity on the circumstances of the killing and ensuring full accountability of all those responsible for it".

Mr Hunt has previously warned there will be "consequences" for the UK's relationship with Saudi Arabia if it was found the journalist was murdered. Turkish officials have said Khashoggi was killed and dismembered.

Osman Sert, research director at Ankara Institute and former aide to ex-Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu, said he expected Turkey to continue its investigation until it uncovers "who was behind the order" for the killing. "Even if Khashoggi died because of an altercation, that's no excuse for his murder", Menendez tweeted.

However, the admission, which came amid increasing pressure on Riyadh, has done little to ease worldwide demands for accountability.

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