Pressure builds as Saudi explanation for Khashoggi death is questioned

In his final column for The Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi perhaps presciently pleaded for greater freedom of expression in the Middle East

Turkish investigative agencies have said that he was brutally killed inside the consulate.

Germany's chancellor has demanded "transparency" from Riyadh over the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the European Union foreign policy chief called it a "shocking violation" of worldwide conventions as western condemnation grows over Saudi Arabia's handling of the affair.

Saudi Arabia suggested on Friday Mr Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi critic, had died in a "fist fight".

Asked by a reporter whether he thought Saudi Arabia's explanation for Mr Khashoggi's death was credible, Mr Trump said "I do".

Earlier this week he warned of "very severe" consequences if Saudi Arabia was proved to have killed the journalist.

"You don't bring a bonesaw to an accidental fistfight", Sasse said, referring to claims by Turkish officials that Khashoggi's body was dismembered inside the consulate.

In a sign of growing pressure on Saudi Arabia, Turkey said it will announce details of its investigation into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Tuesday and United States congressional leaders said the Gulf kingdom in particular its crown prince should face severe consequences for the death of the writer in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. On Saturday Riyadh said he was killed in a fistfight in the consulate.

Saudi officials had claimed for weeks that Khashoggi, a USA -based columnist for The Washington Post, left the consulate in Istanbul on October 2, despite no evidence he exited the building.

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Her comments build on an earlier response to Saudi Arabia's account that the journalist was killed during an altercation at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

Al-Jubeir told FOX News on Sunday the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was a "huge and grave mistake" and promised his family that those responsible will be punished.

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.

An announcement carried on Saudi state TV was the first official confirmation of Khashoggi's death in Turkey, and the first acknowledgment by Saudi Arabia of its role in it.

The kingdom has also said 18 suspects are in custody and that intelligence officials have been fired.

Meanwhile, the deputy head of Turkey's ruling party said his country would "never allow a cover-up" over the killing of Mr Khashoggi.

Australia announced it is withdrawing from an investment summit in Saudi Arabia later this month - joining a growing boycott that includes the US, UK, Dutch and French finance ministers over the Khashoggi killing.

Turkish media reports said more than a dozen Turkish staff members of the consulate - including technicians, drivers, telephone operators and accountants - were being interviewed by prosecutors. The denials became harder to maintain as the Turkish authorities leaked investigative details, many lurid, about the case to the local and global news media.

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