Khashoggi was victim of an extrajudicial execution — United Nations official

Khashoggi was victim of an extrajudicial execution — United Nations official

The Saudis fired five officials linked to the killing and have arrested 18 suspects.

The death of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, has sparked global outrage and mushroomed into a crisis for the world's top oil exporter and strategic ally of the West.

The kingdom insisted for weeks that the writer, who had been a critic of the Saudi government, had walked out of the consulate.

"Who gave them the orders?" he asked. Now they say he was the victim of a premeditated murder.

The Saudi disclosure came after Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel heard an audio recording of the killing during a fact-finding visit to Turkey this week.

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"The President received a briefing from Director Haspel this morning following her return from Turkey".

Haspel traveled to Turkey on Monday, apparently to assess information the Turks have collected on Khashoggi's killing inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [MbS] runs everything in Saudi Arabia, and this action will not and never been without him knowing.

"They had a very bad original concept". "The cover-up was terrible".

It is the latest reversal by Saudi authorities, who last week said Khashoggi was killed accidentally in a fistfight at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by "rogue" agents.

Speaking at the Future Investment Initiative conference, nicknamed "Davos in the desert", the prince said all culprits would be punished, and vowed Saudi Arabia and Turkey would work together to find the killers. "Those responsible will be held the end justice will prevail", he told a major investment forum in Riyadh.

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The statement is a further shift in the Saudi government's story about what happened to Khashoggi.

However, Trump has stressed that he wants to keep the arms deal with Saudi Arabia despite lawmakers' calls for blocking it.

Khashoggi's death was described as "murder" for the first time by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Sunday.

A team of 15 Saudi agents then flew to Istanbul on October 2 with suitcases and a "bone saw", checking into hotels, but flying out the same day.

But Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan earlier this week said the "savage" murder had been planned, while Turkish media have published gruesome details of Khashoggi's alleged torture and decapitation. Khashoggi, who lived in self-imposed exile in the United States for almost a year before his death, had written critically of Prince Mohammed's crackdown on dissent.

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Torchia reported from Istanbul and Fraser reported from Ankara, Turkey. The State Department declined to comment on his departure, but an official previously told ABC News, "The Secretary has raised the safety and security of the Khashoggi family members with the Saudi leadership".

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