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Changing story again, Saudi Arabia says killing was planned

25 October 2018

In another sign that the kingdom is seeking to contain the widespread fallout, Salah Khashoggi, the eldest son of Jamal Khashoggi, has left Saudi Arabia, two people close to the family said Thursday.

According to the statement, a joint Saudi-Turkish investigative team "indicates that the suspects in the incident had committed their act with a premeditated intention".

In this photo released by Saudi Press Agency, SPA, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, right, shakes hands with Salah Khashoggi, a son, of Jamal Khashoggi, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018.

Turkish authorities briefed visiting Central Intelligence Agency chief Gina Haspel on the investigation into the killing and the evidence they have, a Turkish security official who was not authorized to speak to the media said on condition of anonymity.

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Turkish officials have discounted the ability of Saudi Arabia to conduct a credible investigation, given suspicion that the royal court was behind the operation.

U.S. President Donald Trump, the kingdom's staunchest Western ally, was quoted by the Wall Street Journal as saying Prince Mohammed bore ultimate responsibility for the operation that led to Khashoggi's death.

Khashoggi, 59, was a contributing opinion writer for The Post who was living in Virginia after leaving Saudi Arabia because of fear about his safety.

That could change after his briefing with Haspel, however, who is back in Washington after a trip to Turkey where she was briefed on Turkey's own investigation.

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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.

There was no immediate comment from Saudi officials, but Whitson said that they were apparently allowed to leave after a travel ban on Salah was lifted.

Investigators emptied the well and are awaiting the results of an analysis of the water to determine whether body parts were dumped there, according to Yeni Safak, a pro-government Turkish newspaper.

Khashoggi's death was described as "murder" for the first time by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Sunday. The image, obtained by state television TRT and other media on Wednesday, shows a black vehicle with a diplomatic license plate at an entrance to Belgrade Forest. Turkish officials have told The Associated Press that investigators were looking into the possibility that the journalist's remains may have been hidden at those two locations.

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Changing story again, Saudi Arabia says killing was planned