Khashoggi family denies settlement with Saudis: statement

President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman shake hands before lunch at the White House in Washington DC

President Donald Trump and Saudi Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman shake hands before lunch at the White House in Washington DC

Salah Khashoggi, son of late Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, posted a statement on his official Twitter account saying there was no third party authorized to speak on behalf of the Khashoggi family. In fact it added: "Acts of wisdom and generosity arise from high morals and humanity and are not an admission of guilt or error".

US President Donald Trump and Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman held talks on Tuesday about Riyadh's role in Middle East stability, the need to maintain pressure on Iran and human rights issues.

Dissident writer Khashoggi was killed and dismembered October 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a team of 15 agents sent from Riyadh, sparking unprecedented global scrutiny of the kingdom's human rights record. "We believe with such pure and honest acts and intentions that Jamal Khashoggi and his family truly obtain justice", the statement said.

But it said that was separate from any potential "blood money" payment that could be negotiated after the murder trial.

"Jamal Khashoggi was a respectable journalist and a patriotic Saudi citizen. The people who committed and were involved in this crime will all be brought to justice and face punishment".

The kingdom initially said it had no knowledge of Khashoggi's fate, but later blamed rogue agents for his death.

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Saudi Arabia late past year indicted 11 people for the killing at the Kingdom's consulate in Istanbul in October.

The White House said Trump used the call with the crown prince to discuss ways of "maintaining maximum pressure against Iran". His critics, however, point to USA intelligence reports that say an operation like this could not have happened without his knowledge.

Questions have centered on whether the crown prince knew about or ordered the killing, a possibility US intelligence agencies consider likely, and whether the Trump administration will be willing to sacrifice its strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia to hold him accountable.

But the Trump administration continues to cite the importance of its strategic partnership with Saudi Arabia to the stability of the Middle East.

The call comes days after activists told The Associated Press that 12 people with ties to women's rights activists, including two United States citizens, were detained last week and have been held incommunicado since.

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