Saudi Arabia Now Says Jamal Khashoggi's Death Was 'Premeditated'

Saudi Arabia Now Says Jamal Khashoggi's Death Was 'Premeditated'

Turkish officials and some US lawmakers allege the crown prince ordered the operation in which Jamal Khashoggi killed.

CIA Director Gina Haspel has reportedly listened to the audio recording of Washington Post writer Jamal Khashoggi's alleged interrogation, torture and murder, The Post reported.

Turkey had been especially skeptical of that claim, and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan stated earlier this week that Khashoggi was "brutally murdered" in a Saudi operation, as NPR reported.

Saudi prosecutors are interrogating suspects on the basis of information provided by a joint Saudi-Turkish task force, the statement carried by the Saudi state news agency added.

The Saudi government has since admitted that Khashoggi died inside the consulate, and Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor said Thursday that evidence indicates the killing was premeditated.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist known for his critical views of the current Saudi regime, disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

The kingdom sacked two top aides to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as well three intelligence officials and arrested 18 Saudi suspects. Speaking at an investment forum he was hosting in Riyadh, he called the killing a "heinous crime" and vowed to punish the culprits and overhaul the security services. The son, a dual U.S. -Saudi citizen who was photographed receiving condolences from Salman and Mohammed on Tuesday, had previously been restricted from leaving.

King Salman, who has delegated the day-to-day running of Saudi Arabia to the crown prince, on Saturday ordered a restructuring of the general intelligence agency.

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Asked by a reporter in the White House how the Khashoggi killing could have happened, Trump said: "They had a very bad original concept". Turkey is conducting a separate investigation into the journalist's death. "We owe it to Jamal and his loved ones to uncover all of the truth".

"From this place where Jamal lost his life, we clearly state that we will not accept compromises in the case of his murder", said a statement from the group, read by Ayman Nour, the Egyptian chief of opposition broadcaster El-Sharq.

An official at Turkey's presidential palace told Bloomberg, however, that while Turkey wants the crime to be uncovered, it had no interest in interfering in Saudi internal affairs or trying to influence who becomes the next king. His remains have not yet been found.

Mr Erdogan also confirmed that a body double of Khashoggi was used as a decoy after he was killed, after CCTV footage emerged on Monday of a man wearing the Washington Post columnist's dress shirt, suit jacket and trousers.

Sports Illustrated has also reported that several WWE stars are reluctant to travel to Saudi Arabia following the incident in Turkey.

Turkish forensic teams have searched the Consulate, the consul general's official residence as well as vehicles belonging to the consulate as part of their probe into Khashoggi's disappearance and death.

But Britain and France have both stopped short of suspending arms sales to the desert kingdom.

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