Saudi FM says killers of Khashoggi will be prosecuted in kingdom

Geneva Stokes
October 29, 2018

Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor said on Thursday the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate this month was premeditated, reversing previous official statements that the killing was unintended.

"Information obtained from Turkey indicates that suspects in the case planned the act in advance", the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) quoted Saudi Public Prosecutor Saud al-Mujeb as saying Thursday.

Among various versions of what happened to Khashoggi given by Riyadh, Saudi officials had said the columnist was either killed in a fight inside the consulate or died in a chokehold when he resisted being drugged and abducted.

He did not mention de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman by name at any point.

"Failure of any nation to adhere to worldwide norms and the rule of law undermines regional stability at a time when it is needed most".

Palladino said the U.S. government is pressing the Saudis for "all the relevant facts" regarding the horrendous killing of the journalist on October 2.

The announcement came a day after the Saudi prosecutor said that based on evidence supplied by Turkey the murder appeared to have been premeditated - the first time Saudi authorities had made such an admission.

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The announcement contradicted an earlier Saudi assertion that rogue officials from the kingdom had killed Khashoggi by mistake in a brawl inside their Istanbul consulate. While several Republican and Democratic members of Congress have said the crown prince either knew or even ordered the operation, President Trump has so far repeated the Saudi line that both men denied any knowledge. "They're detained in Saudi Arabia, and the investigation is in Saudi Arabia, and they will be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia", Jubeir said at a regional defence forum in the Bahraini capital. "Such childish statements do not go hand in hand with statesmanship", said Erdogan, again urging Saudi Arabia to turn over 18 suspects that the kingdom said it had arrested and would punish for the crime.

Cengiz said Khashoggi was concerned tensions would arise when he visited the consulate for the first time on September 28, but he was treated well at that visit, which appeared to reassure him, she said.

Cengiz also received a phone call from U.S. Secretary of State Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, and recalled asking whether he had any news that would make her happy.

"We never questioned the wisdom of Oman's Sultan Qaboos to contribute to Israel-Palestine issue and we wish him well in his effort", Sheikh Khalid bin Ahmed said.

According to Turkish officials, the audio allegedly reveals Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured, killed and dismembered after he entered the consulate on October 2.

She said by the time Mr Trump offered for her to come to the United States, the President had already issued contradictory statements about Khashoggi's killing.

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