Saudi Arabia admits journalist was killed at consulate, detains 18 suspects

Dem Rep Has 'Irresponsible' Theory: Jared Kushner Orchestrated Journalist's Death in Saudi Arabia Consulate

Dem Rep Has 'Irresponsible' Theory: Jared Kushner Orchestrated Journalist's Death in Saudi Arabia Consulate

After being forced to conduct an investigation amid global pressure, on Friday the Saudi prosecutor -finally for the first time- admitted that, according to its "preliminary" probe, Khashoggi died during an accidental fight at the consulate on October 2.

And he said that if the USA did take action over Khashoggi's death - which Saudi Arabia said came as a result of a fight at its consulate in Istanbul, while Turkish officials have pointed to a state-sanctioned hit - he does not want it to impact arms sales to the kingdom.

"May his soul rest in peace", the statement said.

White House press secretary Sarah Sanders saying Mr Khashoggi's death was a "tragic incident".

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

The White House said in a statement that it had seen the Saudi announcement and would continue to press for "justice that is timely, transparent, and in accordance with all due process".

Human rights groups like Amnesty International separately have been calling for a United Nations investigation into Khashoggi's killing.

Khashoggi's disappearance has tarnished the crown prince's reputation and deepened questions about his leadership, prompting Saudi King Salman to intervene, five sources with links to the Saudi royal family told Reuters.

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.

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Sawers also maintained that the prince likely would not have moved against Khashoggi, a US resident who disappeared October 2, unless he was convinced he had nothing to fear from the U.S.

The former head of Britain's foreign intelligence service MI6 believes "very compelling" evidence indicates that the Saudi crown prince was behind the death of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The kingdom announced that 18 people had been arrested in the ongoing probe.

"To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement". Khashoggi had gone to the consulate to get papers he needed to be married. Since his disappearance, the kingdom had rejected Turkish fears he was killed and dismembered there as "baseless", but growing worldwide pressure and comments by US officials up to President Donald Trump appears to have forced the kingdom to acknowledge the slaying.

Saturday's comments marked the first time since Khashoggi went missing that the Saudis admitted to his death.

The Saudi statements did not identify the 18 Saudis being held by authorities.

"The termination of the two officials was done by the king, not his heir apparent, the crown prince, which could be an indication the aging monarch is cleaning up an extremely ugly mess created by the younger man."

Investigators are working to hold those involved with Khashoggi's death responsible, according to the statement.

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