Saudi Royal Family Admits Jamal Khashoggi Has Died

Minnie Murray
October 20, 2018

US President Donald Trump called the death of Khashoggi "unacceptable", but said he thought Saudi Arabia's explanation of what happened was credible.

He insisted the Saudi leaders had not lied to him when denying prior knowledge of what had happened to Mr Khashoggi, adding that he preferred "retribution [not including] cancelling weapons sales" to the country, which he said the United States needed as a counterbalance to Iran. "I do." He hailed the new information as a good "first step".

"Saudi Arabia has been a great ally, they've been a tremendous investor in the United States", Trump said, adding, "That's why this is so sad". "I am calling on President Trump to immediately recall the (Acting) U.S. Ambassador to the Kingdom pending further consultation with Congress", Coffman said through the statement. Ankara's top diplomat, meanwhile, denied sharing any audio from the Saudi Consulate with USA officials. Though Trump said Riyadh's account was credible, it drew doubt from some USA lawmakers.

"I do, I do", Trump said when asked if he found the Saudis' explanation credible, adding: "It's early, we haven't finished our review or investigation, but".

He went missing after entering the consulate on October 2 to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage. Turkish officials have said Khashoggi was killed and dismembered.

The public prosecutor said 18 people have been detained in connection with the case, without identifying them.

A statement released by the Saudis, said the suspects got into a fight with Khashoggi, which lead to his death.

The country is to restructure its intelligence agencies after the killing of Khashoggi, under King Salman Abdulaziz Al Saud's orders.

However, the prince has been widely blamed for the disappearance of Khashoggi, a fierce critic of his. No major decisions in Saudi Arabia are made outside of the ultraconservative kingdom's ruling Al Saud family. "We will continue to closely follow the global investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent and in accordance with all due process", said White House spokesperson Sarah Sanders.

Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) simply ignored the Saudi explanation and jumped right into calling for sanctions against the nation, urging a halt to all military sales, aid and cooperation. As the rhetoric escalates, top businesses begin to withdraw from the Davos in the Desert summit, which is meant to attract foreign investment to Saudi Arabia. He called for a USA investigation.

Qahtani, 40, entered the royal court under the late King Abdullah but only rose to prominence after latching onto Prince Mohammed, becoming a rare confidante in his secretive inner circle. However, Turkish officials say they believe the columnist is still inside the building.

The public prosecutor said Khashoggi died after a fist fight in the consulate.

Crown Prince Salman has been given increasing authority to run the conservative kingdom.

Democratic US Senator Richard Blumenthal told CNN the Saudi explanation "absolutely defies credibility" and he called for an worldwide investigation of Khashoggi's death. Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri from his duty as the deputy of the intelligence services. And the king has also called for the formation of a committee led by Prince Mohammed to investigate the country's intelligence community.

The person said Mohammad bin Salman had no knowledge of the operation. The statement didn't disclose details about the whereabouts of Khashoggi's body. The Saudi official told Reuters, "We don't know for certain what happened to the body".

The kingdom said its investigation is still ongoing.

Khashoggi disappeared after going to the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul at about 1:15 p.m. on October 2 to obtain paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

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