Published: Sun, October 21, 2018
World Media | By Cesar Oliver

Saudi calls Khashoggi's death 'regrettable, painful incident'

Saudi calls Khashoggi's death 'regrettable, painful incident'

Asked by a reporter whether he thought Saudi Arabia's explanation for Mr Khashoggi's death was credible, Mr Trump said "I do".

According to Saudi media, preliminary results of investigations showed that he was murdered inside the consulate, and "the discussions between Jamal Khashoggi and those he met at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul. devolved into a fistfight, leading to his death", the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said, citing the public prosecutor.

Amid worldwide outcry over Khashoggi's brutal murder, the Saudi public prosecutor said 18 nationals had been detained in connection to the probe.

The White House acknowledged the Saudis' announcement, stating that it would "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".

Saudi Arabia suggested on Friday Mr Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi critic, had died in a "fist fight".

The kingdom announced a purge of senior officials following the announcement, including Saud al-Qahtani, an adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and General Ahmed al-Asiri, a senior intelligence officials.

Standing outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the head of a media group said the "authority that gave the orders" in the killing of Khashoggi should be punished.

However the mission is said to be led by his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who was suspected of being behind Khashoggi's disappearance in some versions of stories alleging what happened to the Washington Post writer. U.S. President Donald Trump, however, was an exception.

It's also an about-face from the kingdom's previous denials of any involvement in Khashoggi's October 2 disappearance at the consulate.

There have been no statements of note released by any countries in response to Saudi Arabia's admission.

Saudi Arabia's Justice Minister says journalist Jamal Khashoggi died on Saudi sovereign territory and the case will be looked at by Saudi courts, according to state news agency SPA.

The official, Leyla Sahin Usta, said it would have been "more valuable" if Saudi officials had earlier admitted that Khashoggi was killed in its diplomatic post.

"The available information on the events in the Istanbul consulate is insufficient", they said.

In a later statement, the White House said it would continue to press for "justice that is timely, transparent, and in accordance with all due process".

Those responsible then tried to cover it up, a Saudi statement said, but there is no mention of what happened to the journalist's body.

"Saudi "explanation" leaves most questions unanswered".

The kingdom's account, which follow's an initial blanket denial of involvement, is vastly different to that of Turkish officials, who made allegations of an "assassination squad".

'I will remain a faithful servant of my country for a long time, and our dear homeland will remain lofty, God willing'.

It is likely the United States will use Saudi Arabia's decision to form a ministerial committee to distance the killing from Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince, who in the past two years has risen to prominence.

The UK Foreign Office described it as "a bad act" and said the people behind the killing "must be held to account".

A protester outside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul earlier this month holding a portrait of Jamal Khashoggi with the caption "Jamal Khashoggi is missing since October 2".

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