UN Special Rapporteur Claims Saudi State Responsible for Khashoggi's Murder

Win McNamee  Getty Images North America

Win McNamee Getty Images North America

The Saudi prosecutors cited Turkish evidence that the slaying was planned, contradicting a Saudi assertion just days ago that rogue officials from the kingdom killed him by mistake in a brawl inside their Istanbul consulate.

Trump told the Wall Street Journal in an interview this week that he didn't think Saudi King Salman knew about the killing in advance.

An independent United Nations investigator says Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of an "extrajudicial execution" carried out by the Saudi state.

Turkey said it believed a hit squad of Saudi nationals had travelled to Istanbul with the sole objective of killing Khashoggi, a former member of the Saudi elite who became critical of the current government's administration in his country.

Before this, Jamal's son had allegedly been banned from leaving Saudi Arabia.

While Saudi officials have said the crown prince, also known as MBS, had no knowledge of the plan to kill Khashoggi, this has left many unconvinced.

She said: "Good news for a change: confirming that Jamal Khashoggi's son Salah and his family are finally out of Riyadh and on their way to the USA, travel ban lifted".

CIA Director Gina Haspel will brief President Trump Thursday on what she has learned about the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed Thursday morning.

The reports have claimed Khashoggi was tortured and killed by a 15-member "hit squad" from Saudi Arabia.

US President Donald Trump has derided the killing as "one of the worst cover-ups" in history.

Salah Khashoggi, who holds dual U.S. -Saudi citizenship and had thus far been under a travel ban, departed Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributing columnist who had criticized policies of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had been self-exiled in the United States for about a year. US intelligence officials and lawmakers as well as the European Union have said that an operation targeting a critic of the royal court in a foreign country is unlikely to have been ordered without the knowledge of senior Saudi officials.

French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May both spoke via telephone with King Salman, according to a statement issued by the Saudi Foreign Ministry late Thursday, hours after the European Parliament's resolution passed.

An official at Turkey's presidential palace told Bloomberg, however, that while Turkey wants the crime to be uncovered, it had no interest in interfering in Saudi internal affairs or trying to influence who becomes the next king.

"But we have enough right now to determine that the government of Saudi Arabia is responsible and is implicated".

The people outside the consulate, some of whom had travelled from other countries for the vigil, lit candles in front of posters of Khashoggi.

In addition, the leaks have featured surveillance pictures of a Saudi agent wearing Khashoggi's clothes and a fake beard and leaving the consulate in an orchestrated bid to fool investigators into thinking the journalist had safely left the diplomatic mission, as the Saudis initially claimed.

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