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

22 October 2018

United States President Donald Trump said on Tuesday that Saudi Arabia has started a full investigation into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who hasn't been seen since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago.

"This was an operation that was a rogue operation, "Adel al-Jubeir told Fox News on Sunday". "Now, a fight breaks out and he's killed in the consulate, all without knowledge of Crown Prince". "There obviously was a tremendous mistake made and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to try to cover up".

"But we have to look at where the information has come in terms of this investigation, and I know that is what the Foreign Office is now doing".

The chief executive of Japan's biggest bank has pulled out of Saudi Arabia's financial conference dubbed "Davos in the Desert", joining a growing list of withdrawals following the killing of a government critic at the kingdom's consulate in Turkey.

Khashoggi's disappearance "drew the attention of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia at the highest levels, and due to the circumstances surrounding his disappearance, the Kingdom took the necessary procedures to clarify the truth and began by dispatching a security team to Turkey on 6 October 2018 to investigate and cooperate with counterparts in Turkey", SPA said.

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- President Donald Trump on Friday called Saudi Arabia's announcement that suspects are in custody in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a "good first step" and said he would work with Congress on a US response.

The evolving explanation comes 19 days after Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who had been critical of his country's current government, disappeared on October 2 after going into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

But he continued to defend the nation as an "incredible ally" and allowed for the possibility that Khashoggi's death was not directly ordered by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

U.S. president Donald Trump said he thought Saudi Arabia's explanation was credible, but that what happened was "unacceptable".

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

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Her comments build on an earlier response to Saudi Arabia's account that the journalist was killed during an altercation at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Saturday on CNN's "State of the Union" that he believed Prince Mohammed, the heir-apparent of the world's largest oil exporter, was behind the killing. When the media reported a few days later that he had been killed there, they called the accusations "baseless".

"He truly loves his country, ' said Trump, who added in that he hadn't 'heard either way" whether the Crown Prince was responsible for the journalist's killing.

The Saudi authorities have not yet said where his body is.

The Times also cited a report by the consultancy firm McKinsey & Co that discussed public perception of economic austerity measures announced by Saudi Arabia in 2015. They said the "hypotheses" proposed so far in the Saudi investigation need to be backed by facts to be considered credible.

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