Khashoggi: Saudi version unsatisfactory; wont scrap arms deal, says Trump

Jermaine Castillo
October 22, 2018

U.S. President Donald Trump hailed as a "great first step" Friday Saudi Arabia's explanation for the fate of a missing Saudi journalist.

Canada has condemned the killing of a Washington Post journalist in the Saudi consulate in Turkey.

Saudi Arabia provided no evidence to support its account of the circumstances that led to Khashoggi's death and it was unclear whether other governments would be satisfied with it.

Saudi Arabia finally acknowledged on Friday that Khashoggi had been killed at the consulate, although the explanation that the journalist was involved in a "quarrel and fighting by hand" that led to his death has been met with worldwide skepticism. The events "still haven't been cleared up and of course we demand that they be cleared up", she said Saturday.

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.

He said Saudi Arabia does not know how Mr Khashoggi was killed or where his body is, adding the country is still working on finding out where Mr Khashoggi's body is and determining what happened.

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Saudi Arabia's foreign debt has also been pressured, with yields rising across the country's dollar bond curve.

Khashoggi has been the subject of news reports since his disappearance after a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham said: "I find it impossible to believe that the Crown Prince was not involved". "We want justice for Jamal", he said.

King Salman ordered the dismissal of five officials, including Saud al-Qahtani, a royal court adviser seen as the right-hand man to Prince Mohammed, and deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Asiri, Saudi state media reported on Saturday.

Senior aides close to the prince have been fired over Khashoggi's killing, and 18 suspects have been arrested.

Turkish officials believe Khashoggi - a critic of the Saudi government - was murdered and his body dismembered.

"Yes, I think he did it", Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said in an interview with CNN.

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The Saudi stock market is down about 4% since Khashoggi's disappearance.

In a statement Sunday, the governments said attacks on journalists are unacceptable and "of utmost concern to our three nations".

The efforts to attack Khashoggi and other influential Saudis, and sway public opinion against them on the social media service, included a so-called troll farm based in Riyadh and a suspected spy within Twitter that the kingdom utilized to monitor user accounts, the New York Times reported.

After speaking with Saudi Arabia's King Salman, President Trump suggested that Khashoggi was targeted by "rogue killers".

"Saudi Arabia's changing stories on #KhashoggiMurder is getting old". "Now, a fight breaks out and he's killed in the consulate, all without knowledge of Crown Prince".

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