Why was Khashoggi killed? The Saudi and Turkish explanations

Adjust Comment Print

Timeline on Saudi statements relating to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"I know that when the CIA director returns, she will be briefing the president, myself and our entire team on what the Turks have assembled", Pence said about CIA Director Gina Haspel's trip to Turkey.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince is scheduled to address an investment forum in Riyadh today, his first public speech since the murder of critic Jamal Khashoggi plunged the kingdom into crisis. Spokespersons for the CIA and Turkish intelligence declined to comment on Haspel's review of the recording.

After initially insisting that Khashoggi had left the consulate alive, Saudi Arabia acknowledged on Friday that Khashoggi is dead, but its official statement blamed his death on a fight that broke out at the consulate.

The whereabouts of Khashoggi's corpse is still unknown.

On Thursday, Prince Mohammed attended the first meeting of a committee aiming to restructure the kingdom's intelligence services after the killing of Khashoggi, the state-run Saudi Press Agency said.

Meanwhile, the Turkish President has not confirmed if a recording of Khashoggi's murder and alleged torture exists.

"It is not over yet", he said.

"We have people working all across the world ... to put our own understanding together", he said, adding that he hopes to "learn a great deal more in the next 48 to 72 hours".

Saudi Arabia's Council of Ministers further went on record on state TV on Tuesday to outline that the kingdom had "indicated" its "keenness to hold accountable those who failed in their duties" in Khashoggi's death.

Erdogan spoke about Khashoggi's killing for roughly 20 minutes, beginning his remarks with what he called a "refresh" of the events surrounding the death. President Trump said he would "leave it up to Congress" to determine further steps against the kingdom, which is a key US ally in the Middle East and a vast market for USA arms manufacturers.

The Attorney General of Saudi Arabia Sheikh Saud al-Muadjib said 18 nationals of the country are under investigation, whose identities have not been revealed.

On Wednesday Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is regarded as the country's de facto ruler, vowed to punish those responsible.

CNN broadcast images apparently showing a Saudi official playing a body double for Khashoggi, wearing the journalist's clothes, exiting the consulate. And we expect a credible investigation.

They then gave several contradictory accounts before admitting that he had been killed in an unauthorised operation.

"The U.S. will remain a key part of the Saudi economy because the interests that tie us are bigger than what is being weakened by the failed boycotting campaign of the conference", Saudi Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told Saudi state TV.

Saudi Arabia is the lynchpin of a USA -backed regional bloc against Iran but the crisis has strained Riyadh's relations with the West. Dozens of Western officials, bankers and executives shunned a big investment conference in Riyadh this week.

The conference, in an opulent conference center attached to the Ritz-Carlton, has been boycotted by dozens of big-name sponsors and chief executives, including Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase, Stephen Schwarzman of Blackstone and AOL founder Steve Case.

Jamal Khashoggi is one of the Arab world's most prominent journalists and commentators.