Trump accuses Saudis of 'lies' over Khashoggi killing

Trump accuses Saudis of 'lies' over Khashoggi killing

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the son of Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom announced early Monday, to express condolences for the death of the journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by officials that allegedly included a member of the royal's entourage.

The comments from Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir were some of the most direct yet from Riyadh, which has given multiple and conflicting accounts about Khashoggi's killing on October 2, first denying his death and later admitting it amid an worldwide outcry.

Prosecutors have previously questioned consulate staff; some Turkish employees reportedly said they were instructed not to go to work around the time that Khashoggi disappeared.

Although Turkey has so far stopped short of officially blaming Saudi Arabia for the killing, investigators have said they have audio and video evidence which shows Mr Khashoggi, was killed by a team of Saudi agents inside the consulate.

Saudi Arabia claims Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in a "fistfight" in the consulate.

Saudi Arabia said 18 Saudi suspects were in custody and intelligence officials had been fired.

In a statement Sunday, the governments said attacks on journalists were unacceptable and "of utmost concern to our three nations". It's impossible to believe the crown prince wasn't involved.

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Those people were later arrested or had their social-media accounts shut down.

The Saudi version lacked "consistency and credibility", said Chrystia Freeland, Canada's foreign minister. They said the "hypotheses" proposed so far in the Saudi investigation need to be backed by facts to be considered credible. Richard J. Durbin (D-Ill.) said the Saudi ambassador should be formally expelled from the United States if an investigation shows the crown prince's involvement.

Meanwhile in Istanbul, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan vowed to reveal within days the "naked truth" over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, insisted on Sunday that crown prince was "not aware" of the killing and that the kingdom does not know where the body is.

Anadolu news agency reported that the decision was made by the Istanbul governor's office Sunday, citing an anonymous security official. "But I want to get to the answer", Trump told reporters this weekend, when asked about the Saudi investigation and Riyadh's firing of officials over the incident. The president has raised the possibility of imposing sanctions but said halting an arms deal would "hurt us more than it would hurt them".

TRT World's Ben Said has more.

The latest account includes details on how 15 Saudis sent to confront Khashoggi had threatened him with being drugged and kidnapped and killed him in a chokehold when he resisted.

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