Saudi Arabia 'sent agents to cover up Jamal Khashoggi's murder' in Istanbul

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Saudi authorities have released the brother of billionaire Prince AlWaleed bin Talal after almost a year in detention, family members said Saturday, as the kingdom faces global pressure over journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder.

Bandar Al Aiban, head of the Saudi government delegation at the first United Nations review of the kingdom's record in five years, said that King Salman had instructed the Saudi public prosecutor to "proceed with the investigation into this case according to the applicable laws and preparation to reaching all facts and bringing all the perpetrators to justice", Reuters reported.

The brothers said they trying to piece together an understanding of their father's death.

The Wall Street Journal reported that he was detained for 11 months for criticising the biggest crackdown on the kingdom's elite last November that saw dozens of princes, officials and tycoons detained at Riyadh's Ritz-Carlton hotel.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said that the order to kill him came from "the highest levels of the Saudi government", but, stressing Turkey's "friendly" ties with Saudi Arabia, he said he did not believe King Salman was involved.

"All that we want right now is to bury him in Al-Baqi (cemetery) in Medina (Saudi Arabia) with the rest of his family", Salah Khashoggi said.

Sweden meanwhile is planning to ask: "What measures will be taken to improve the respect for the freedom of expression and the safety of journalists in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?"

Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate on October 2, Turkey has said, but Saudi Arabia only allowed Turkish police to finally search the consulate on October 15.

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An official cited by Sabah said the fact that a clean-up team was dispatched suggests that Khashoggi's killing "was within the knowledge of top Saudi officials". "I talked about this with the Saudi authorities and I just hope that it will happen soon".

Earlier theories floated that Khashoggi's body was wrapped up in some kind of fabric and given to a local Turkish coconspirator.

The body of Khashoggi, a former Washington Post columnist and critic of the Prince Mohammed, remains missing.

The brothers said that Khashoggi used to be "courageous", "generous" and "very fearless". "It is a mystery", he said. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall.

"It's confusing and hard", Abdullah Khashoggi said.

British Ambassador Julien Braithwaite told the council his country was "gravely concerned about the deteriorating human rights situation in Saudi Arabia", pointing to women's rights, mass arrests of rights defenders and extensive use of the death penalty.

Mr Aiban told the hearing that King Salman had instructed the Saudi public prosecutor to "proceed with the investigation into this case according to the applicable laws" with a view to "bringing all the perpetrators to justice". "And I have faith in that".

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