Saudi Arabia journalist: Nation claims vanished journalist 'died following brawl'

Geneva Stokes
October 21, 2018

They initially had claimed that Khashoggi walked out of the consulate on foot after retrieving a marriage document. His fiancée was waiting outside for several hours.

Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday the death of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying a preliminary investigation indicated he lost his life after a fight at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"As a Senate Foreign Relations Committee member, I am seeking a classified briefing and depending on the facts of this case, we may need to re-assess our relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including planned arms sales, our ongoing support for the war in Yemen, and other aspects of our partnership with the Kingdom".

And will the US government believe this explanation of the chain of events, which raises more questions and looks like an attempt to separate the Saudi royals from this crime?

"We will continue to closely follow the worldwide investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and in accordance with all due process", Sanders said.

In a statement Friday night, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders says the US will closely follow worldwide investigations into Khashoggi's death and will advocate for justice that is "timely, transparent and in accordance with all due process".

An announcement on Saudi state TV said discussions between Khashoggi and officials at the consulate quickly turned violent and ended in his death. "But I think it's a great first step", he said.

But U.S. intelligence agencies have reportedly become increasingly confident that the Saudi regime, particularly Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had directed the killing - a view at odds with the Saudi narrative put forth Friday.

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- President Donald Trump on Friday called Saudi Arabia's announcement that suspects are in custody in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a "good first step" and said he would work with Congress on a US response.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo on Thursday said they were going to give the Saudi's a few more days to release results of their investigation into Khashoggi's death.

US lawmakers, including Republican Senator Lindsay Graham have warned of tough action.

International human rights watchdog Amnesty International said that the Saudi account was "not trustworthy" and called on Riyadh to produce Khashoggi's body so that independent forensic experts might determine the cause of his death.

Saudi Arabia's state-run news agency said Saturday that "the kingdom expresses its deep regret" over the slaying of Khashoggi.

"They require an exhaustive and diligent investigation to establish exactly who was responsible and ensure that those guilty of the murder of Mr. Jamal Khashoggi answer for their actions", he added.

The Gulf kingdom admitted last night that Khashoggi was killed at the consulate but said he had died after a fight broke out, claiming Salman had no knowledge of the alleged hit.

Turkish investigators are likely to find out what happened to the body of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi "before long", a senior Turkish official said on Saturday.

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