Chancellor Angela Merkel slams Saudi Arabia Khashoggi explanation as 'insufficient'

Turkey's reaction to the Saudi admission is being closely watched because of the conflicting stories and because Turkish authorities are said to possess evidence, including audio tapes, that could reveal exactly how Khashoggi was killed.

October 11: Turkey says it has agreed with Saudi Arabia to form a joint group to shed light on the disappeared journalist's fate.

Sawers' comments follow remarks by U.S. President Donald Trump that Khashoggi was presumed dead and the consequences for Saudi Arabia would be "severe" if Saudi leaders were found to have ordered his alleged murder.

Saudi Arabian authorities announced a purge of officials, the detention of 18 people and an overhaul of the intelligence services headed by the country's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman - whom USA officials privately believe must have been aware of the operation to target Khashoggi. The statement said royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani and deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Assiri have been fired from their positions.

Pompeo, who traveled to Riyadh earlier this week to speak to King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, told VOA, "I made very clear to them that the United States takes this matter very seriously".

Turkish officials have coordinated sustained leaks of information to local and USA media that suggest Khashoggi was tortured and murdered and his body dismembered with a bone saw.

Turkish officials had said they believed he was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after he entered the building on October 2 to retrieve paperwork for his upcoming wedding.

Turkish police and prosecutors this week searched both the consulate as well as the consul's residence in Istanbul.


"I think President Trump and his ministerial team are waking up to just how unsafe it is to have people acting with a sense that they have impunity in their relationship with the United States", Sawers said.

Amnesty International said the Saudi explanation appeared to be a whitewash of "an appalling assassination". The committee's goal will be to restructure the intelligence services. Regarding the Saudi arrests, he said, "It's a big first step". The statement also did not shed any light on what happened to Khashoggi's body after his death.

Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (L) chats with Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, June 2, 2017.

World attention has been focused on the Khashoggi case which has caused strain between Saudi Arabia and western countries.

The spokesman for Turkey's ruling AK Party said it would not allow a "cover up".

She decides to publish the interview transcript when Saudi Arabia confirmed the death of Khashoggi.

But amid growing pressure at home and overseas over his soft posture toward Saudi Arabia, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin withdrew from a high-profile investment summit scheduled to begin in Riyadh later this month, and Trump on Thursday seemed to warn that there would be "severe" consequences for Riyadh if it was found responsible for Khashoggi's death.

"As the Foreign Secretary has said, this was a awful act and those responsible must be held to account".


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