Saudis confirm journalist Khashoggi was killed inside consulate

Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi speaks at an event hosted by Middle East Monitor in London. REUTERS

An initial investigation has revealed that discussions between Khashoggi and the individuals who met with him at the consulate led to an argument and a fist fight - which resulted in the journalist's death - Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor said in a statement, according to the Saudi Press Agency.

The White House said Saturday it was "saddened" after confirmation that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, but made no mention of United States action against its major ally.

"Based on press reporting, I'm asking for Congress to open an investigation of whether any US Intelligence was shared with Saudi Arabia that led to political persecution or killing", he wrote.

USA officials have told CNN that the operation could not have been carried out without the knowledge of Prince bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler.

"The United States and the rest of the worldwide community must condemn the murder of Mr. Khashoggi and the use of diplomatic posts as torture chambers for rogue nations". "The Secretary-General stresses the need for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr Khashoggi's death and full accountability for those responsible".

"To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr Khashoggi is an understatement", the Republican senator tweeted.

He said it is important to get to the bottom of the truth but simply targeting Riyadh for Khashoggi's disappearance in Istanbul is unacceptable to the UAE, the minister said as he lashed out at false information out by some media.

After praising lawmakers - including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of SC, who has sharply criticized Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the episode - Trump said he is "going to have very much Congress involved" in determining the USA response.

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So far 18 Saudi nationals have been arrested and a deputy intelligence chief - a senior aide to the crown prince - have been dismissed, state TV reported. Turkish authorities launched an investigation, claiming they had found audio proof that a 15-man team of Saudi assassins tortured and killed the journalist in the consulate.

Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the United States should pursue sanctions against Saudis involved in Khashoggi's death under a U.S. law named after Sergei Magnitsky, the anti-corruption Russian accountant who died in custody.

An official familiar with the Saudi operation said: 'There were no orders for them to kill him or even specifically kidnap him.

The president of the United States, who has long referred to journalists as enemies of the people, celebrated an act of violence against a reporter on USA soil - to cheers and laughter from his supporters.

Asked if he felt that Saudi officials had lied to him or top officials in his administration, Trump said he didn't believe so. He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to pick up a document he needed to marry his Turkish fiancee.

"Saudi Arabia has been a great ally".

According to Castro, this means there has to be an investigation into the potential sharing of intelligence between the USA and Saudi Arabia.

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