Jamal Khashoggi criticizes Saudi prince in newly released interview

Jamal Khashoggi criticizes Saudi prince in newly released interview

"Preliminary investigations carried out by the Public Prosecution Office into the disappearance of Saudi citizen Jamal bin Ahmad Khashoggi revealed that the discussions that took place between him and the persons who met him during his presence at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul (leading) to a brawl and a fist fight with the citizen, Jamal Khashoggi, which led to his death, may his soul rest in peace", the Saudi prosecutors' statement read.

"To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr Khashoggi is an understatement", the Republican senator tweeted.

Khashoggi's body has not yet been found by Turkish authorities. "I think it's a very important first step".

Trump sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier in the week to Riyadh, where the top U.S. diplomat praised the Saudis for conducting a probe and called for the two nations to maintain a close alliance for the sake of business deals and their shared opposition to Iran. It also announced a purge of senior officials, and eighteen Saudi nationals were said to have been arrested.

Saudi Arabia said it "expresses deep regret" over his death and King Salman put his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in charge of re-vamping the country's intelligence agency.

King Salman also ordered the formation of a ministerial committee headed by the crown prince to restructure the general intelligence agency, state media said.

Erdogan and Saudi King Salman spoke by phone on Friday night, agreeing to continue cooperation and exchanging details on the case, the Turkish presidency said in a statement.

Trump told reporters he thought the explanation from the Saudi foreign ministry was "credible". "Now, a fight breaks out and he's killed in the consulate, all without knowledge of Crown Prince".

Senator Lindsay Graham said it's hard to find this latest "explanation" as credible.

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Some Trump aides raised doubts about the veracity of the Turkish government's leaks of what it says happened to Khashoggi. By acknowledging that Khashoggi was killed without taking direct responsibility, Saudi leaders could give Washington and Ankara a way out of an unwanted confrontation with the Persian Gulf powerhouse.

Earlier, US President Donald Trump had said he could consider sanctions against Saudi Arabia over the death of the exiled writer who had in recent years become a strident critic of the Saudi regime.

But growing global pressure and comments by US officials up to President Donald Trump forced the kingdom to acknowledge Khashoggi's death.

U.S. 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. "If (the Trump) administration doesn't lead, Congress must", Congressman Adam Schiff said. "But this action raises more questions than it answers and there is no way the world will wait for 30 days for a Saudi investigation to be done", Blumenthal said. Raises more questions. Makes no sense.

The New York Times previously said it had spoken to three people with knowledge of the Saudi plans relating to General Assiri, who had earlier served as the spokesman for the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen before being promoted to his current job in intelligence.

Saudi Arabia acknowledged on Friday that there had been attempts to cover up the killing, but it has not released any information publicly on what happened to Khashoggi's body.

Khashoggi was last seen on October 2 entering his country's consulate in Istanbul.

Among Saudis, one of the biggest shocks will likely be the removal of Al-Qahtani, a larger-than-life figure who's known for using his Twitter account to slam those he labels the kingdom's enemies.

The 40-year-old MP, who worked about 10 hours a month for the think tank, listed his role as "providing advice to the centre on its work on worldwide relations covering Europe and the Middle East".

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