Riyadh admits Khashoggi died in Istanbul mission as world powers demand answers

Mecca view

Saudi Cleric Slams'Fabrications Biased Media Campaigns Over Missing JournoCC0

In a late night news broadcast on Saudi's state-run news channel, Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor said on Saturday that preliminary results of investigations showed that Jamal Khashoggi died in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after a fight with people he met there (Saudi officials), state media reported.

"As we learn more details of Khashoggi's disappearance, the U.S. must send a clear message that we will not condone such reprehensible behaviour that goes against our American values".

On Friday, however, a Saudi prosecutor announced on state television that an investigation into Khashoggi's disappearance confirmed he was dead.

Here is a look at the Saudi narrative regarding Khashoggi, as it developed.

Turkish sources told MEE that they are seeking the extradition of 15 Saudis they have identified as members of a hit squad sent to kill Khashoggi.

Turkish officials believe Mr Khashoggi - a critic of the Saudi government - was murdered and his body dismembered.

Khashoggi's disappearance quickly became an worldwide issue because he was an opinion columnist for The Washington Post, well-known around the world as a critic of the Saudi royal family of King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (pictured above left) and especially of Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.

The question is whether Riyadh's final explanation for Khashoggi's demise is enough for the global community to move on from the grisly episode.

Calling the Saudi moves a "good first step", Trump said, "I think we're getting close to solving a very big problem".

Oil rises as investors fret over Iranian supply gaps
President Donald Trump's looming sanctions on Iran are the biggest in a series of mysteries confronting the oil market right now. While oil's surge has subdued, the ongoing conflict between America and Saudi Arabia supported prices earlier this week.

Amnesty's Middle East director of campaigns, Samah Hadid, also called for an investigation to be headed by the UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres in order to avoid a "Saudi whitewash". Lindsey Graham, a Republican, said on Twitter.

Turkish officials claimed to have audio recordings that provided strong evidence Khashoggi, who had been dropped off at the consulate by his fiancée to pick up divorce papers, was tortured for seven minutes before being beheaded.

He was sacked in December 2015 - after which he reportedly returned to Saudi Arabia and took a job there with the government.

Ankara vowed to reveal all the details of a two-week inquiry as US President DOnald Trump said he was unsatisfied with Saudi Arabia's response to the Washington Post columnist's death and the EU, Germany, France, Britain and the United Nations also demanded clarity.

The fallout touches some of bin Salman's inner circle. Ironically enough, the committee would be headed by none other than bin Salman himself.

"I'm not satisfied until we find the answer", Mr Trump said, adding that sanctions were a possibility, but that halting an arms deal would "hurt us more than it would hurt them".

President Trump praised the kingdom for acting quickly and said the official explanation was "credible", despite many USA lawmakers expressing disbelief over the Saudi account.

Twitter was never able to prove he had passed on information, the Times reported, though it fired Alzabarah in December 2015 and sent alerts to a few dozen users that read, "As a precaution, we are alerting you that your Twitter account is one of a small group of accounts that may have been targeted by state-sponsored actors".

"Just to be clear Congressman, we don't have, I just want to be clear for our viewers, we do not have that reporting".

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