Saudi Arabia confirms Jamal Khashoggi was killed in ‘brawl’ inside Istanbul consulate

Saudi Arabia confirms Jamal Khashoggi was killed in ‘brawl’ inside Istanbul consulate

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin and senior ministers from France, Britain and the Netherlands have abandoned plans to attend an October 23-25 investor conference in Riyadh, joining a list of Western business executives and putting the high-profile event in question.

'For these reasons, Congress should open an investigation to see whether @jaredkushner or any other Admin official shared any U.S. intelligence with the Saudis that led to any political persecution, including the killing of #JamalKhashoggi, ' he said. Ever since he disappeared October 2, Saudi officials have repeatedly said that he left the consulate alive and that they had no information about his whereabouts or fate.

Democratic Representative Adam Schiff of California said Saudi Arabia's claim that Mr Khashoggi died in a brawl was not credible.

U.S. president Donald Trump said Friday he found Saudi Arabia's explanation about the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi credible and termed it an "important first step".

There are now 18 suspects, all of Saudi nationality, currently in custody and accused of attempting to cover up the death.

In Istanbul, Turkish prosecutors investigating Khashoggi's disappearance questioned Turkish employees of the Saudi consulate on Friday. Saudi Arabia had rejected as baseless reports that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate, but had been facing growing pressure to explain what happened to him.

Before the Saudi announcements, U.S. President Donald Trump said he might consider sanctions against Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, while emphasizing the importance of the U.S. -Saudi relationship.

Separately on Saturday, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) called on the global community to keep up pressure on Saudi Arabia to get the whole truth about Khashoggi's case.

He also said the arrests in Saudi Arabia were a "big first step" and that he would prefer not to jeopardise America's $US110 billion arms deal with the country.

Saudi King Salman has also reportedly ordered the formation of a ministerial committee, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed, which will have one month to release a report on the facts of the case, according to state TV.

I guess the next obvious step here is to find Khashoggi's body.

"There has been broad skepticism in the USA intelligence community of @jaredkushner's relationship with #MBS, ' he said, referring to a New York Times story that quoting news around Washington Post writer Khashoggi as a 'personal reckoning" for Kushner.

He was trying to obtain documents for a marriage license at the consulate. Asiri was named deputy chief of foreign intelligence by royal decree in April 2017.

"Part of our reaction will depend on the Saudi reaction, and whether we sense that they are taking it as seriously as we are taking it".

The crown prince had no knowledge of the specific operation that resulted in Khashoggi's death, a Saudi official familiar with the investigation said.

Often dubbed Saudi Arabia's version of American political strategist Steve Bannon, Qahtani is a former local journalist, who was appointed as adviser to the Saudi royal court in 2015, when he was less than 30 years old.

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