Jamal Khashoggi's son leaves Saudi Arabia as kingdom says killing was 'planned'

Jamal Khashoggi
Modal Trigger Jamal Khashoggi Getty Images
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25 October, 2018

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

Khashoggi's eldest son, Salah, and his family arrived on Thursday in Washington on a flight from Saudi Arabia, according to two sources close to the family.

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

CIA Director Gina Haspel visited Turkey earlier this week, and was reported by the Washington Post to have listened to recordings alleged by the Turkish to be audio of Khashoggi's murder.

The president's briefing comes as the pressure increases on Saudi Arabia to reveal what happened after their initial denials were proven false and their later explanations have shifted. Neither King Salman nor his son Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman knew about it beforehand, the Saudis say.

Saudi officials initially denied having anything to do with the disappearance, before changing that account to say an internal investigation suggested Khashoggi was accidentally killed in a botched operation to return him to the kingdom.

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The Washington Post , citing U.S. intelligence intercepts, says the Saudi crown prince ordered an operation to trap Khashoggi. Turkish officials have said they believe he was killed there although this has not been confirmed by Saudi Arabia.

Salah is a dual US and Saudi citizen. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday in an address to parliament that the murder was "savage" and pre-planned. "We owe it to Jamal and his loved ones to uncover all of the truth". He had been planning to settle in Istanbul and marry his Turkish fiancee when he was detained and killed in the Saudi Consulate.

Also Thursday, the European Union issued a fresh condemnation of Khashoggi's killing and reiterated its skepticism that it could have been carried out without Mohammed's knowledge. The resolution came several days after Germany became the first Western government to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the world's largest arms importer.

The people outside the consulate, some of whom had traveled from other countries for the vigil, lit candles in front of posters of Khashoggi.

While the Saudi prosecutor's office did not say specifically that its investigators reached the same conclusion, the statement seemed created to acknowledge the legitimacy of evidence and allegations from Turkey that Khashoggi's killing was planned.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said he is working with the Treasury Department on whether to impose sanctions on those found responsible for the journalist's death.

"We will continue to demand that all authorities across the Middle East immediately release all opinion leaders and political prisoners".


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