Khashoggi killers will be held accountable: Saudi

Karen Attiah is a Ghanaian American writer and Global Opinions editor for the Washington Post

German Chancellor Angela Merkel said it would be "impossible" to continue arms exports to Saudi Arabia after the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir earlier said that the death of Khashoggi was the result of a "rogue operation" by people acting beyond the scope of their authority.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Sunday vowed to reveal within days the "naked truth" over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as Riyadh insisted it did not know the whereabouts of his body and that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had been unaware of any operation to kill him.

In an interview with The Washington Post published late Saturday, Mr Trump stepped back from his stance that the Saudis had earlier provided a credible explanation for the death of the journalist inside their Istanbul consulate, but he said he remained confident in the leadership of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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.

"I agree with all those who say when it comes to our already limited arms exports (to Saudi Arabia) that they can not take place in the current situation", she told reporters at her party headquarters.

Saudi Arabia initially said he had left the building unharmed but on Friday admitted for the first time he was dead, saying that he was killed in a fight.

Khashoggi, a United States resident, entered the consulate on October 2 to obtain documents that would clear the way for his impending marriage to fiancee Hatice Cengiz but never emerged.

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U.S. President Donald Trump had also talked about possible punishment but said he didn't want to halt a proposed $110 billion arms sale to Saudi Arabia because, he maintained, it would harm U.S. manufacturers. "All of this needs to be explained in all its details", Erdogan said. "We feel their pain", Jubeir told the USA broacaster Fox.

"Khashoggi was detained by the Saudi team inside the consulate building".

"There remains an urgent need for clarification of exactly what happened on October 2nd - beyond the hypotheses that have been raised so far in the Saudi investigation, which need to be backed by facts to be considered credible", the three countries said in a joint statement.

Slowly but surely, the facts are coming out - no thanks to Saudi Arabia.

"That is unacceptable in any government".

He added it was premature to comment on possible USA sanctions against Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi's death while an investigation is pending.

The Turkish leader's statement came the day after Saudi authorities conceded Khashoggi had been killed inside their diplomatic compound in Istanbul. "Yes, I think he did it", Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told CNN, referring to the crown prince.

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