Saudi attorney general says Khashoggi was killed during fight in consulate

Carolyn Kaster  AP

Washington Post Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah had a pretty blunt reaction last night to Saudi Arabia's explanation of what happened to Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump has called the Saudi announcement a "good first step", but said what happened to Khashoggi was "unacceptable".

President Trump has promised "severe punishment" if the reports of Khashoggi's death were true, but Mr. Trump has also openly cautioned against actions that would risk USA business interests, including billions in arms sales.

The Saudi statements did not identify the 18 Saudis being held by authorities and did not explain how so many people could have been involved in a fistfight. He says it's important that Saudi Arabia made arrests.

It added that it values Turkish President Recep Tayyip ErdoÄŸan's cooperation in investigating the case.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in the U.S., disappeared on October 2 after visiting the consulate to complete paperwork related to his divorce.

Investigators are examining traffic records of every auto that went in and out of the Saudi consulate.

There's been no indication Khashoggi had any immediate plans to return to the kingdom. He had left his mobile phones with his Turkish fiancé, who waited for him outside the consulate.

Saudi has not yet named any of their suspects.

Khashoggi described two of the prince's aides - sports chief Turki al-Sheikh and the since-dismissed media adviser Saud al-Qahtani - as "very thuggish". Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri.

Rep. Joaquin Castro of Texas, who sits on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, said the supposed list included murdered Saudi dissident/journalist Jamal Khoshoggi.

The United Arab Emirates said it "commends directives and decisions of Saudi King Salman on the issue of Khashoggi", in a statement on Twitter. "You don't get much closer" to bin Salman, a source told CBS News' Kylie Atwood.

He says the death of Mr Khashoggi was a "horrible event" that has not gone "unnoticed". Beyond its statements attributed to anonymous officials, Saudi Arabia offered no evidence to support its claims.

The White House added it is "saddened" by the confirmed death of the Saudi journalist. They also contradicted assertions in Turkish media leaks that Khashoggi was tortured, killed and dismembered inside the consulate, claims the kingdom had previously rejected as "baseless". "He extends his condolences to Mr Khashoggi's family and friends".

The fired royal adviser Qahtani notably tweeted past year that is the executor of the orders of the king and crown prince: "You think I'm acting on my own without guidance?"

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said it was a resolution concerning the journalist's death and is an extension of the Kingdom's commitment to consolidating justice.

The Saudi King has reportedly ordered the setting up of a ministerial body chaired by the crown prince that will oversee the restructuring of the kingdom's intelligence agency.

Merkel and Maas said that "those responsible must be held to account".

"MbS had no knowledge of this specific operation and certainly did not order a kidnapping or murder of anybody".

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