Wednesday, 20 February, 2019

Khashoggi probe: Erdogan vows to uncover truth after Saudi admission

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud chats with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al Nahyan in Jeddah Saudi Arabia REUTERS Saudi Press AgencyUAE Warns Against"Destabilizing Saudi Arabia Over Khashoggi Case
Melinda Barton | 21 October, 2018, 05:53

Trump told reporters Friday that the Saudi explanation was credible, but he has privately grimaced that his son-in-law Jared Kushner's close relationship with the crown prince has become a liability and left the White House with no good options, us officials said.

Britain rolled out the red carpet for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in March.

Khashoggi went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Mr Trump said it was possible that Prince Mohammed had been unaware of the circumstances around the death of Khashoggi, a Saudi national and USA resident.

It said that dictated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman "Saudi operatives have mobilized to harass critics on Twitter", which became especially popular since the Arab Spring uprisings in 2010.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: 'We have an ongoing and wide-ranging defence engagement relationship with Saudi Arabia, which has included the provision of training, advice and guidance in the United Kingdom and Saudi Arabia'.

Arabia had, until now, strenuously denied.The Saudi public prosecutor said on Saturday that a fight broke out between Khashoggi and people who met him in the consulate, leading to his death.

In a tweet on Saturday, he thanked the king and crown prince for the "big confidence" they had in him.Asiri joined the Saudi military in 2002, according to Saudi media reports, serving as spokesman for a coalition backing Yemen's ousted president after Prince Mohammed took Saudi Arabia into that country's civil war in 2015.

The kingdom also offered a far different version of events than those given by Turkish officials, who have said an "assassination squad" from the kingdom including an official from Prince Mohammed's entourage and an "autopsy expert" flew in ahead of time and laid in wait for Khashoggi at the consulate.

Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the United States should pursue sanctions against Saudis involved in Khashoggi's death under a USA law named after Sergei Magnitsky, the anti-corruption Russian accountant who died in custody. "It was a good first step", Trump said of the sackings.

The announcement could ease strains with the USA and Turkey but leaves lingering questions about the extent of Prince Mohammed's role in and knowledge of the incident.

He said: "I think it's a very important first step and it happened sooner than people thought it would happen".

Another official said the president is particularly sensitive about the unpleasant optics of the situation given the proximity of the midterm elections, but it remains unclear whether he will take any action.

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

The Saudi government said it had fired five top officials and arrested 18 other Saudis as a result of the initial investigation. It's also an about-face from the kingdom's previous denials of any involvement in Khashoggi's October 2 disappearance at the consulate.

His disappearance had been shrouded in mystery and triggered an global crisis, with Turkish officials accusing Saudi Arabia of a state-sponsored killing and dismembering his body.

Mr Hunt has previously warned there will be "consequences" for the UK's relationship with Saudi Arabia if it was found the journalist was murdered.

One assassin is said to have told others: "When I do this job, I listen to music".

However, the admission, which came amid increasing pressure on Riyadh, has done little to ease worldwide demands for accountability.