Joint Saudi-Turkish Team Finds Khashoggi Killing Was Premeditated

Surveillance image purports to show Saudi vehicle scouting wooded area before Khashoggi killing

Saudi officials initially denied having anything to do with Khashoggi's disappearance after he entered the consulate on October 2, before changing the official account to say an internal investigation suggested he was accidentally killed in a botched operation to return him to the kingdom.

After blanket denials of knowledge of his disappearance, Saudi officials acknowledged over the weekend that Khashoggi had been killed by "rogue" agents inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"The crime was very painful to all Saudis".

Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor said on Thursday the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate was premeditated, reversing previous official statements that the killing was unintended.

"The ideal thing for Trump to do is recognize that Mohammed bin Salman is weakened by the outrageous murder of Khashoggi", said Indyk, who argues that the one threat to the crown prince's survival is if the United States tells Saudi Arabia's King it can not work with his heir apparent.

On Tuesday, Trump called the shifting stories over Khashoggi's fate - the crown prince initially said the journalist left the consulate on this own - "one of the worst in the history of cover-ups". The Washington Post reported Wednesday that Haspel listened to audio purportedly of his interrogation and murder while she was in Turkey.

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said all culprits would be punished, and that Saudi and Turkey would work together 'to reach results'.

Other reports said Mr Khashoggi's fingers were cut off and sent to Saudi Arabia as "evidence" of a successful mission.

18 dead as floods sweep away students and teachers near Dead Sea
The official, who was not named, expressed surprise that a school trip had been organised despite weather warnings. Thursday's incident is the second tragedy resulting from flash-flooding near the Dead Sea this year.

French President Emmanuel Macron told King Salman in a phone call on Wednesday that Paris, in coordination with partners, could take action against those held responsible for the murder, the Elysee palace said.

For their part, the Trump administration and the USA defence industry are scrambling to save the few actual deals in a much-touted $110 billion arms package for Saudi Arabia.

But he suggested responsibility lay higher up: "Well, the prince is running things over there more so at this stage".

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan spoke to Prince Mohammed on Wednesday and the two discussed the steps needed to bring to light all aspects of Khashoggi's death, a presidential source said. "He's running things and so if anybody were going to be, it would be him", Trump said.

Turkey is pushing the Saudi government to reveal exactly who ordered the killing, fueling suspicions that Prince Mohammed was involved even though he condemned it as "heinous" at the Riyadh forum.

"Prime Minister Saad is staying in the kingdom for two days so I hope you don't spread rumors that he was kidnapped", Prince Mohammed, who is also known as MbS, said.

Saudi Arabia's ability to sell more oil will be especially crucial when United States sanctions against Iranian oil sales come into effect on November 4, taking an estimated 1 million barrels of oil a day off the market.

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