Mnuchin defends upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia in wake of Khashoggi killing

by Ben Pena October 22, 2018, 0:22
Mnuchin defends upcoming trip to Saudi Arabia in wake of Khashoggi killing

Turkish crime scene investigators this week searched the Saudi Consulate building in Istanbul and the nearby residence of the Saudi consul general, and came out carrying bags and boxes. "Defending freedom of the press is a key priority for Finland", the tweet read.

The announcement comes as pressure mounted on Prince Mohammed bin Salman to investigate the death of one of his most prominent Saudi critics. The kingdom also said that 18 suspects were in custody and that intelligence officials had been fired.

Said Arabia has said the first results of an ongoing investigation has shown that US-based journalist Jamal Kashoggi died in in Istanbul's Saudi consulate.

The Saudi government on Friday admitted that Jamal Khashoggi died at their consulate in Istanbul, but claimed that he died in a fistfight - contrary to the Turkish government's contention that the Washington Post columnist was killed and dismembered at the direction of the kingdom's leadership.

The kingdom said a fight broke out between Mr Khashoggi, who had fallen out of favour with the Saudi government, and people who met him in the consulate - ending with his death.

"I think his behavior is way outside civilized norms, and I will never go back as long as he's there", the senator said.

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He told the news program that Saudi-US ties would "weather" the Khashoggi case.

He also said that they did not know the details of killing, and "where the body is". Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the deputy head of Saudi intelligence and a close adviser to the crown prince. The former high-level official who spoke with The Times said "there is no question" USA intelligence "knows what happened". He said that while he was waiting for the conclusions of us intelligence agencies before making a final judgment, he believed that Prince Mohammed was behind the killing.

US intelligence officials contacted by The Times have declined to comment on the report, which has triggered unease on Capitol Hill, where congressional insiders say questions about the administration's handling of Khashoggi case could lead to a politically charged investigation going forward. "We feel their pain".

"Do I think he did it?"

On what basis has the blame been put on the 18 Saudi nationals who have been detained - what is the evidence against them?

The journalist has relatives still living in Saudi Arabia and three children who hold United States citizenship.

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