Saudis don't know how Khashoggi was killed, incident was ‘aberration, mistake’ - FM

Jamal Khashoggi

Officials from a joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case early Thursday after searching the residence as well as the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. "Defending freedom of the press is a key priority for Finland", the tweet read.

Five high-ranking officials in the Saudi government were fired Friday and 18 were arrested in connection with Khashoggi's death, according to reports. Saudi TV also confirmed that General Ahmad al-Asiri, deputy director of General Intelligence Directorate, was sacked over the incident.

A statement by the attorney general said that Khashoggi was killed after a fight inside the consulate on October 2, and that 18 Saudis are detained pending an investigation.

However, they said the Saudi appointment would not now go ahead.

The statement - after persistent claims by Saudi authorities that Khashoggi had left the consulate alive - came amid the threat of United States sanctions and appears aimed at distancing Prince Mohammed from the affair.

In its first reaction to Khashoggi's confirmed death, the White House said it was "saddened" but made no mention of any possible action against its major ally. "We have nothing to hide", says the crown prince.

When asked Saturday if he believes Crown Prince Salman may have known in advance of an plot against Mr. Khashoggi, Mr. Trump said "possibly - you don't known that, but it's possible".

The human rights group Amnesty International said Saudi Arabia should "immediately produce" Khashoggi's body so that independent forensic experts can conduct an autopsy in line with international standards.

Deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri and royal court media advisor Saud al-Qahtani were both part of Prince Mohammed's inner circle. On Saturday, he said he still does not know where Khashoggi's body is.

"I don't think it's credible at all", the senator said.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said many questions "remain unanswered", echoing calls for an investigation. A person with knowledge of the matter said the Washington Post contributor died after he was placed in a choke hold following a physical altercation.

While some are calling for U.S. sanctions against Saudi Arabia, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Sunday that it is too early to discuss such measures "until we get further down the investigation and get to the bottom of what occurred".

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