Saudi Arabia confirms Jamal Khashoggi was killed in ‘brawl’ inside Istanbul consulate

Saudi Arabia confirms Jamal Khashoggi was killed in ‘brawl’ inside Istanbul consulate”

The announcement came as the kingdom's state media said that the missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi had been killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, citing an official Saudi investigation.

"I think we're getting close to solving a very big problem", Trump said.

"First we were told Mr Khashoggi supposedly left the consulate and there was blanket denial of any Saudi involvement", Mr Graham tweeted on Friday.

Trump said: "Saudi Arabia has been a great ally, but what happened is unacceptable", the president said. Pompeo said Riyadh should be given a few more days to complete its own probe.

He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to pick up a document he needed to marry his Turkish fiancee.

"It offers no consolation to have Saudi officials confirm what the whole world already knows-Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul".

The public prosecutor said 18 people have been detained in connection with the case, without identifying them.

Saudi Arabia's highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, on Saturday said the king's decisions on the death of Jamal Khashoggi "achieve justice and equality in accordance with Islamic law", according to a statement on state news agency SPA.

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

Al-Asiri was not part of the 15-man "hit squad" named by Turkish media, who Turkish officials suspect were involved in the killing of Khashoggi.

US President Donald Trump says Saudi explanation for Jamal Khashoggi's killing is credible and a "good first step".

"After the recognition of Khashoggi's death, we expect a determined, constant and powerful pressure to be kept on Saudi Arabia in order to get the whole truth on the case and the release of Saudi Arabian journalists (who have) been condemned to insane and disgusting sentences".

Where is the evidence that has been repeatedly referred to by the Turkish authorities? Turkish pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak has published what it said were details from the audio.

The disappearance of Khashoggi has tarnished Prince Mohammed's reputation and deepened questions about his leadership.

"Repeated accusations, allegations and biased media campaigns will not discourage (Saudi Arabia) from holding to its principles", Sheikh Abderrahman al-Sadis said during a sermon accompanying Friday prayers at the mosque in Mecca, the holiest site in Islam.

The growing crisis prompted the king to intervene, five sources with links to the Saudi royal family told Reuters.

Intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri is also out, the Saudi press agency said.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who lived in suburban Washington, was a former insider who turned into a critic of the kingdom's direction under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. "There were no orders for them to kill him or even specifically kidnap him", said the official, speaking on condition of anonymity. "MBS" is a reference to the crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman. Ever since he disappeared on October 2 while visiting the mission, Saudi officials have repeatedly said that he left the consulate alive and that they had no information about his whereabouts or fate.

Turkish investigators have searched a forest near Istanbul and a city near the Sea of Marmara for the journalist's remains, following fears he may have been surgically dismembered.

But growing worldwide pressure and comments by US officials up to President Donald Trump forced the kingdom to acknowledge Khashoggi's death.

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