Khashoggi mourners demand 'true justice' after Saudi disclosures

Khashoggi mourners demand 'true justice' after Saudi disclosures

Khashoggi mourners demand 'true justice' after Saudi disclosures

After more than two weeks of stubborn denials from Saudi Arabia that it had anything to do with the dissident journalist's disappearance, statements carried on the Saudi state news agency in the early hours of Saturday morning finally acknowledged he had died as the result of a "fistfight" inside the consulate.

According to the transcript, Khashoggi talked about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the reform in Saudi, and his views on Saudi Arabia's future. Saudi TV also confirmed that General Ahmad al-Asiri, deputy director of General Intelligence Directorate, was sacked over the incident.

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

Eighteen Saudi nationals had been arrested, the prosecutor said in a statement.

During a televised interview earlier this week, Graham said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman "has got to go".

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

Arabia had, until now, strenuously denied.The Saudi public prosecutor said on Saturday that a fight broke out between Khashoggi and people who met him in the consulate, leading to his death.

Saudi Arabia will now begin a full investigation of the incident, with a deadline of one month to produce a report.

"The world needs to know what happened to Khashoggi", it says in a statement calling for action.

When asked about the Saudi announcement, President Donald Trump told reporters in Arizona "It's a big first step".

What has the USA said about this?

"As a Senate Foreign Relations Committee member, I am seeking a classified briefing and depending on the facts of this case, we may need to re-assess our relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including planned arms sales, our ongoing support for the war in Yemen, and other aspects of our partnership with the Kingdom".

The Colorado lawmaker, who serves on the House Armed Services Committee, urged Trump to immediately recall the acting USA ambassador from Saudi Arabia.

Saudi state media said King Salman had ordered the dismissal of five officials, including Saud al-Qahtani, a royal court adviser seen as the right-hand man to Prince Mohammed, and deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Asiri. Turkish officials have said Khashoggi was killed and dismembered.

In a recent off-the-record interview published posthumously by USA magazine Newsweek, Khashoggi described the 33-year-old crown prince as "an old-fashioned tribal leader" but said he would have accepted an offer to work as his adviser.

The episode had threatened to create a diplomatic crisis with the United States, which sees its alliance with Riyadh as the cornerstone of its West Asia policy, and Turkey, which has tenuous ties with Saudi Arabia.

Amid the outrage and the growing calls for answers, including for the whereabouts of Khashoggi's body, analysts said the Saudi account - by creating "scapegoats" - was aimed at defusing the weeks-long crisis and deflecting blame from the top Saudi leadership, particularly MBS.

According to Anadolu, Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said, "It is out of the question for us to share this or that information with any country".

However, the admission, which came amid increasing pressure on Riyadh, has done little to ease global demands for accountability.

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