UAE, Egypt and Bahrain commend Saudi Arabia' decrees on Khashoggi case

Saudi-friendly Kushner ‘keeping low profile’ as Trump admin shrugs off Khashoggi case report claims

Saudi-friendly Kushner ‘keeping low profile’ as Trump admin shrugs off Khashoggi case report claims

Earlier Friday, Turkish prosecutors questioned staff at the Saudi Consulate, state media said, suggesting attempts to strengthen a possible criminal case with insider details from the last place journalist Jamal Khashoggi was seen alive.

Khashoggi was killed in a "fistfight" in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, the kingdom claimed early Saturday, finally admitting that the writer had been slain at its diplomatic post.

That explanation is contrary to multiple reports of how Khashoggi died.

As a young journalist, Khashoggi interviewed bin Laden several times, garnering global attention.

Fluent in French, English and Arabic, the hard-charging official had developed a reputation for hassling journalists whose reports were not to his liking.

This acknowledgement comes after two weeks of denials from the Saudi government that it had anything to do with his disappearance.

But Turkish authorities are not satisfied with the Saudi explanation, a high-level source told Middle East Eye, and are collecting strong, mounting evidence that Khashoggi was the victim of a premeditated murder.

Turkish media has reported that Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered in the consulate by an assassination team that included a doctor of forensics who brought a bone saw with him when he arrived in Turkey that day.

The disappearance of Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post columnist, strained relations between Saudi Arabia and Western allies.

A total of 18 Saudi nationals have now been detained for investigation, the Saudi Press Agency reported.

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Saudi King Salman ordered the formation of a ministerial committee, which Crown Prince Mohammed will head, to restructure the general intelligence agency, according to SPA.

Shortly before the announcement, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Saudi King Salman agreed over a phone conversation to continue cooperation in the investigation.

The Saudi regime admitted the journalist's death on state television on Friday.

US President Donald Trump called the death of Khashoggi "unacceptable", but said he thought Saudi Arabia's explanation of what happened was credible.

The talk between Khashoggi and the suspect "did not go as required and escalated negatively which led to a fight between them and the citizen / Jamal Khashoggi, which aggregated the situation and led to his death".

"It certainly looks that way to me. It's very sad", Mr Trump told reporters before boarding Air Force One on a political trip. "Can't be believed", Republican Representative Peter King of NY, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said Friday on Twitter.

Representative Mike Coffman, one of a number of lawmakers from Trump's Republican Party who is facing a tough race in November 6 elections, said the United States "must stand up for our values and demand our "allies" respect human rights".

Trump sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier in the week to Riyadh, where the top USA diplomat praised the Saudis for conducting a probe and called for the two nations to maintain a close alliance for the sake of business deals and their shared opposition to Iran. Saudi Arabia, ruled by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, has denied killing Mr Khashoggi.

The Khashoggi case has presented Mr Trump with one of the most acute foreign policy crises of his almost two-year-old presidency.

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