Published: Wed, October 24, 2018

Saudi arrests over Jamal Khashoggi death 'a good first step'

Saudi arrests over Jamal Khashoggi death 'a good first step'

Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Sunday the kingdom did not know where the body of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi was, despite admitting to the killing and calling it a "tremendous mistake".

Germany and Saudi Arabia only returned their ambassadors in September after 10 months of frosty relations following criticism from Berlin of what it said was Saudi interference in Lebanese affairs. He changed his tone once again late this week, raising the prospect of sanctions against Riyadh.

After denying any involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi, 59, for two weeks, Saudi Arabia on Saturday morning said he had died in a fistfight at the consulate.

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

"The pain they are enduring as a result of this tragedy is heartbreaking", she said, adding "Those responsible for the killing must be held to account and must face justice". Saudi Arabia ranked sixth previous year with approved sales of 254 million euros ($292 million), mostly reflecting deliveries of patrol boats, according to a government report published in June.

Asked if he believed the Saudi government's explanation, Mr Raab said: "No, I don't think it's credible". "His body, Saudi officials told several journalists, was handed over to a "local collaborator" for disposal", it said, while also criticizing Trump for allegedly trying to help top Saudi leaders escape "meaningful accountability".

He said the case should be brought to an global court as Saudi Arabia, as an authoritarian state on its way to reform, would likely hide the truth, as well as the murder mastermind, considering that its national interests were at stake.

Saudi: We don't know where Khashoggi's body is, killing a mistake

The chancellor said Riyadh had not put the full facts of the Washington Post journalist's demise "on the table". "Whatsoever, the USA continues seeking contact with the Turkish colleagues", he said.

Qahtani was one of five officials Saudi King Salman has fired, according to Saudi state media, following the global controversy over Khashoggi's disappearance. "All of this needs to be explained in all its details", Erdogan said.

Campaigning for her party in a regional election, Merkel repeated to a news conference her earlier condemnation of Khashoggi's killing, which Saudi Arabia admitted had taken place inside its consulate in Istanbul.

What happened to Jamal Khashoggi?

Saudi Arabia has arrested 18 people whom they claim are connected with the incident.

Pro-government Turkish newspaper Yeni Safak, citing the audio, said his torturers cut off his fingers during an interrogation and later beheaded him.

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

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