Published: Sat, October 20, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

US ‘saddened’ by confirmed Khashoggi death - White House

US ‘saddened’ by confirmed Khashoggi death - White House

A man leaves Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Friday, Oct. 19, 2018.

The statement was the first official confirmation of Khashoggi's death in Turkey 18 days ago, and the first acknowledgment by Saudi Arabia of its role in it.

Mr Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, lived in the United States, having fled Saudi Arabia in September a year ago.

It's unclear whether the Saudi announcement will be enough to staunch the criticism the kingdom faces from lawmakers in the US, its most-crucial ally.

Sawers' comments follow remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump that Khashoggi was presumed dead and the consequences for Saudi Arabia would be "severe" if Saudi leaders were found to have ordered his alleged murder.

The prosecutor says 18 Saudis have been arrested in connection to the case.

This, the statement added, "resulted in the formation of the Joint Investigation Team between the Kingdom and the Republic of Turkey and the permission to the Turkish authorities to enter the premisses [sic] of the Consulate of the Kingdom in Istanbul and the residence of the consul, for the Kingdom keenness to know all the facts".

Investigators have recovered samples from searches of both buildings to analyze for traces of Khashoggi's DNA.

Trump made the remarks Friday during a meeting with defense industry executives in Arizona, where he boasted about the deals he's forged with the Saudis and reiterated his opposition to canceling what he says is a $110 billion deal for USA weaponry the Saudis intend to buy. "And we'll figure it out", Trump added.

UAE minister, Dr Anwar Mohammed Gargash tweeted that Saudi Arabia holds a special place in the Middle East and the world.

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"I think it's a good first step, it's a big step. They feel very strongly about it also", Trump said.

"Saudi Arabia has been a great ally".

"This is far from the end and we need to keep up the global pressure".

Government-run state media said a fight broke out between the journalist and people he met there.

The consulate employees questioned included accountants, technicians and a driver, Anadolu said.

Saudi Arabia will now begin a full investigation of the incident, with a deadline of one month to produce a report.

Turkish pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak has published what it said were details from the audio, including that his torturers severed Khashoggi's fingers during an interrogation and later beheaded and dismembered him.

Mr Khashoggi had been a critic of bin Salman but Reuters news agency quoted a person familiar with the Saudi investigation as insisting that the crown prince had no knowledge of the operation that killed the journalist.

How can the Crown Prince head the investigation since he himself is accused of ordering the killing of Jamal Khashoggi?

And will the US government believe this explanation of the chain of events, which raises more questions and looks like an attempt to separate the Saudi royals from this crime?

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