Saudi Arabia: Khashoggi killing 'grave mistake,' crown prince not aware

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Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir said on Sunday the kingdom did not know where the body of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi was, despite admitting to the killing and calling it a "tremendous mistake".

"First of all, their explanation is insultingly stupid", he told Fox News' Chris Wallace during an interview Sunday, flabbergasted by "the idea that this guy walked in the room with 15 security people, got in a fight and was accidentally killed and then they happened to have apparently an ability to dismember him and get rid of him that happened to be there".

Khashoggi vanished on October 2 after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul seeking paperwork for his planned marriage to Cengiz.

A joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case on Thursday after searching the residence of the consul general as well as the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Erdogan spoke after Saudi Arabia, in a statement early Saturday, finally acknowledged that 59-year-old Khashoggi had died in the consulate, though its explanation that he was killed in a "fistfight" was met with global skepticism and allegations of a cover-up created to absolve Prince Mohammed of direct responsibility.

The Saudi official presented what he said were Saudi internal intelligence documents which appeared to show the initiative to bring back dissidents as well as the specific one involving Mr Khashoggi.

He said he would "love" it if the Crown Prince was not responsible for the murder.

The US president on Saturday nonetheless asserted with characteristic overstatement that canceling weapons sales to Riyadh would be "not helpful" as it might affect "over a million jobs" in the US.

Trump emphasised as he has before how important the US-Saudi relationship is to Washington's regional strategic goals.

Also on Sunday, Turkey's president Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he would reveal the "naked truth" of the matter in parliament on Tuesday.

"This was an operation where individuals ended up exceeding the authorities and responsibilities they had", he said.

Merkel reiterated her condemnation of the killing at Saudi's consulate in Istanbul, and her earlier call for the kingdom to provide further clarification on the incident and hold those responsible to account.

"The Turks have been talking more to the media than they have us", Corker said of the North Atlantic Treaty Organisation ally.

A leading Republican U.S. senator said he believed the crown prince was behind the killing, adding that the Saudis had lost all credibility in their explanations of his death. Saudi Arabia is a country and MBS is a person.

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

Sen. Rand Paul told "Fox News Sunday" that the USA "cannot continue to have relations with him and so I think he's going to have to be replaced".

Speaking late Saturday after a campaign rally in Nevada, he said he will be talking to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman soon.

The Turkish leader's statement came the day after Saudi authorities conceded Khashoggi had been killed inside their diplomatic compound in Istanbul.

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