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21 Oct, 2018 15:44

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

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

Riyadh doesn't know how Khashoggi was killed or where his body is, Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Fox News, just one day after his country claimed the journalist was killed in a "fistfight" inside the consulate in Istanbul.

Jubeir once again stressed that the crown prince was "not aware" of Khashoggi's killing, which he dubbed a "tremendous mistake."

He added that his country is working on determining what exactly happened and where Khashoggi's body is. He said the Saudi probe was initially prompted by conflicting reports of whether the journalist left the consulate in Istanbul.

Jubeir also said that Riyadh wants to hold anyone responsible for Khashoggi's death to account.

It comes just one day after Saudi Arabia stated that Khashoggi had died in a "fistfight" in the consulate, with authorities announcing the detention of 18 suspects in the case.

Although Riyadh said that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had nothing to do with Khashoggi's death, that claim has been met with skepticism.

Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi royal family, was last seen when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Sunday that Ankara would reveal the full truth surrounding his death on Tuesday, after his country previously stated that the journalist was killed by a Saudi assassination squad.

Meanwhile, Britain, Germany, and France issued a joint statement on Sunday in which they say there is an “urgent need for clarification of exactly what happened” to Khashoggi. They added that "hypotheses" proposed by the Saudi investigation need to be backed up by facts.

While some are calling for US 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."

Any punishment by Washington over the matter seems unlikely to involve the $450 billion arms deal between the two countries. President Donald Trump has repeatedly hailed the deal as being important, citing the large sum of money and jobs it is bringing to the country.

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