Journalist Jamal Khashoggi death `a mistake`: Saudi Arabia

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi death `a mistake`: Saudi Arabia

Journalist Jamal Khashoggi death `a mistake`: Saudi Arabia

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir said on Sunday the kingdom did not know where the body of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi was, despite admitting to the killing and calling it a "tremendous mistake".

For weeks, Saudi Arabia denied having knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts or what could have happened to him.

Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Saturday on CNN's "State of the Union" that he believed Prince Mohammed, the heir-apparent of the world's largest oil exporter, was behind the killing.

Jubeir called the killing of Khashoggi a bad mistake and offered condolences to his family.

Turkish news agency Anadolu Agency reported Sunday that Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, has been given 24-hour police protection. Authorities did not immediately respond to a request for comment on what prompted the decision to give her a security detail.

On the day of Khashoggi's disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources.

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After Saudi Arabia confirmed his death, she wrote on Twitter in Arabic: "They have taken your body from this world, but your attractive smile will stay in my world forever". King Salman, 82, has handed the day-to-day running of Saudi Arabia to him.

Turkish officials believe he was murdered by a team of Saudi agents inside the building.

That claim though met widespread scepticism.

Turkish pro-government media say a hit squad traveled from Saudi Arabia to kill Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after he entered the building on October 2.

Bombshell new allegations linking Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been published by a Turkish newspaper.

A longtime US critic of Saudi Arabia says he feels certain that Crown Prince Mohammed directed the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

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Barring an unlikely "confession" from Prince Mohammed, Democratic Congressman Adam Schiff said Sunday, "the president is going to accept the crown prince's denials like he's accepted Mr Putin's denials and Kim Jong Un's denials".

Erdogan spoke after Saudi Arabia, in a statement early Saturday, finally acknowledged that 59-year-old Khashoggi had died in the consulate, though its explanation that he was killed in a "fistfight" was met with global skepticism and allegations of a cover-up created to absolve Prince Mohammed of direct responsibility.

Mr Trump emphasised the importance of the US-Saudi relationship to Washington's regional strategic goals.

The Saudi official presented what he said were Saudi internal intelligence documents which appeared to show the initiative to bring back dissidents as well as the specific one involving Mr Khashoggi. Trump added that he has yet to be shown any evidence by intelligence officials that would make him believe MBS had any direct role.

Speaking late Saturday after a campaign rally in Nevada, he said he will be talking to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman soon.

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