Published: Fri, October 26, 2018
Money | By Hannah Jacobs

Saudi Arabia Now Says Jamal Khashoggi's Death Was 'Premeditated'

Saudi Arabia Now Says Jamal Khashoggi's Death Was 'Premeditated'

On October 25, Saudi Arabia's public prosector says the murder was "premeditated", based on information supplied by Turkey. One source said Salah Khashoggi holds dual U.S. -Saudi citizenship and had been under a travel ban.

In the U.S., CIA Director Gina Haspel returned from a trip to Turkey and was expected to brief President Trump on Thursday morning about developments in the Khashoggi investigation.

Language in the bill stated that President Trump could request exceptions to the arms sale ban if he also submitted a report on a USA investigation into anyone involved in "the murder of journalist and United States permanent resident Jamal Khashoggi".

Saudi prosecutors are interrogating suspects on the basis of information provided by a joint Saudi-Turkish task force, the statement carried by the Saudi state news agency added.

DUBAI, Oct 25 ― Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor said on Thursday the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate was premeditated, reversing previous official statements that the killing was unintended.

Turkish authorities, including the president, said this week that Saudi agents had scouted Istanbul's Belgrad Forest before Khashoggi's death inside Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate on October 2.

The crown prince and King Salman earlier invited Khashoggi's son Salah and brother Sahel to the Yamama Palace in Riyadh to offer condolences. Officials and the crown prince's supporters said the suspects tried to cover up their crime and provided the leadership with misleading accounts of the murder.

Turkish officials also told the Associated Press that investigators were looking for Khashoggi's remains in a nearby forest and in a city about two hours away from Istanbul.

Turkish officials have discounted the ability of Saudi Arabia to conduct a credible investigation, given suspicion that the royal court was behind the operation. A senior intelligence official and an adviser to Prince Mohammed were also removed from their jobs.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir claimed the individuals who killed Khashoggi "did this outside the scope of their authority", calling it a "rogue operation". "We owe it to Jamal and his loved ones to uncover all of the truth".

The prince also said he was determined to continue with implementing economic reforms under his Vision 2030 programme, which is aimed at reducing the kingdom's total reliance on oil and expanding the role of the private sector.

Dozens of people stood vigil outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Thursday to demand justice.

Asked by a reporter in the White House how the Khashoggi killing could have happened, Trump said: "They had a very bad original concept".

However, Trump has stressed that he wants to keep the arms deal with Saudi Arabia despite lawmakers' calls for blocking it.

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