Saudi Arabia Confirms Jamal Khashoggi’s Death, Calling It ‘Huge and Grave Mistake’

Erdogan, Trump hold phone conversation on Khashoggi

Turkish media reports and officials say a 15-member Saudi team flew to Istanbul, laid in wait for Khashoggi at the consulate and then cut off his fingers, killed and dismembered the 59-year-old writer. Both areas are now being searched for Khashoggi's remains. "We don't know in terms of details how".

The kingdom has fired five top officials and arrested 18 others in an investigation into the killing - a move that has widely been viewed as an attempt to cover up the Crown Prince's role in the murder. Investigators are seeking to take statements from all 45 consulate workers within the coming days.

Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir insisted powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was not responsible, despite multiple and conflicting accounts about Mr Khashoggi's killing on October 2.

The journalist has relatives still living in Saudi Arabia and three children who hold United States citizenship.

Jubeir said the Saudis did not know how Khashoggi, a Saudi national and U.S. resident, had been killed or where his body was.

Corey A. Stewart, the Republican nominee for the Senate seat in Virginia, appeared on CNN Friday and told Anderson Cooper that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul three weeks ago, was "a mystery guy".

Saudi Arabia is also Germany's second-largest weapons customer.

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The foreign minister reiterated that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was unaware of this operation and the people involved in the murder did not have ties with bin Salman.

Saudi authorities announced that Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, died in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul after a fistfight with officials there.

TRT also published photographs showing Khashoggi entering the consulate wearing what appeared to be a black jacket, light gray short and gray trousers.

But after a Turkish media report claiming Khashoggi's Apple Watch may have captured gruesome audio of him being tortured, drugged, killed and later dismembered, the Saudi government finally admitted the journalist was dead.

In a speech on Sunday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan appeared to suggest he was getting ready to release some information about the Turkish investigation and would do so at his weekly speech on Tuesday to members of his ruling AK Party. Germany has also said it will halt arms exports to the Kingdom so long as the uncertainty over the fate of Khashoggi persists. "So let's hope that the world would deal with the political crisis, including the one with a Saudi citizen in Turkey, with wisdom", he said.

Global outrage over Khashoggi's October 2 slaying at the hands of Saudi officials, under still-disputed circumstances, has marked the greatest crisis in the 33-year-old's rapid rise, already tarnished by a catastrophic war in Yemen and a sweeping roundup of Saudi businessmen and activists. They said the "hypotheses" proposed so far in the Saudi investigation need to be backed by facts to be considered credible.

Speaking late Saturday after a campaign rally in Nevada, Trump said he will be working with Congress on the U.S.' official response.

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