Theresa May tells Saudis Jamal Khashoggi death explanation 'lacks credibility'


The Associated Press, citing Turkish officials, has reported that a 15-man Saudi team tortured, killed and dismembered Khashoggi, while Saudi Arabia says he died in a "fistfight".

"Jamal's family needs a place to be together where they feel safe to mourn their beloved one", said Randa Slim, director of conflict resolution at the Washington-based Middle East Institute, who knew the slain journalist personally.

The prince's olive branch to Turkey appeared to dial back an escalation in rhetoric on Tuesday, when Erdogan made a speech timed to coincide with the opening of the conference in which he said the killing of 59-year-old Khashoggi was premeditated and the culprits should be punished even if they were senior officials.

CIA Director Gina Haspel listened to an audio tape of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's interrogation and murder during a visit to Turkey, the Washington Post reported October 24.

The location of Mr Khashoggi's body remains unknown.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince denounced the "repulsive" murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and vowed justice will prevail, in his first public comments on the case, without addressing U.S. accusations of a monumental cover-up.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince on Wednesday joked about allegations that Lebanon's premier-designate Saad Hariri was detained in the kingdom past year, saying he hoped his current visit does not spark "abduction" rumours.

There were reports on Thursday that Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel has heard possible key evidence implicating the Saudi royal family in the killing.

REUTERS Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman has denounced the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and vowed that justice would prevail.

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The spy chief on Thursday briefed President Donald Trump on Turkey's findings and her discussions, White House spokeswoman Sarah Sanders said.

Speaking at the investment forum, Prince Mohammed said: "Many are trying to exploit the Khashoggi affair to drive a wedge between Saudi Arabia and Turkey".

Riyadh has blamed a "rogue operation" for the death of the prominent Saudi journalist and said the crown prince had no knowledge of the killing. Turkish reports said a member of his entourage was involved in the crime. The kingdom first denied any involvement in the disappearance, but amid mounting worldwide pressure, acknowledged that he had been killed at the consulate in a rogue operation.

Facing global outrage over the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi officials are now acknowledging that the journalist was targeted inside the kingdom's consulate in Turkey and a body double was on hand to aid in a coverup - the latest twist in the kingdom's evolving efforts to explain Khashoggi's death.

"Well, the prince is running things over there more so at this stage".

"We are determined not to allow any cover-up of this murder and for all those responsible - from those who gave the command to those who executed it - not to escape justice", he said at a meeting in Ankara.

The stakes could not be higher given the role Saudi Arabia plays in supporting U.S. foreign policy against Iran as well as United States and UK policy towards the conflict in Syria and the wider fight against Islamist terrorism. Saudi authorities have arrested 18 people as part of an investigation into the case.

There were conflicting reports Thursday about whether investigators had searched the well in a case that has geopolitical implications because of the Saudi-Turkish rivalry in the Mideast region, as well as the US alliance with both countries.