Killing of Jamal Khashoggi was premeditated - Saudi prosecutors

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Signaling a major pivot in its narrative, Saudi Arabia on Thursday said evidence shows that the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was premeditated, an apparent effort to ease global outrage over the death of a prominent critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday described the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as a "heinous crime", Al Arabiya local news reported.

This week's Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh has seen numerous high-profile cancellations after Turkey accused the Saudi regime of killing Khashoggi, who had written critically of it.

US President Donald Trump charged Tuesday that a Saudi operation to kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Riyadh's consulate in Istanbul had given rise to "one of the worst cover-ups" in history.

"As long as these facts are not corroborated by our intelligence services, we will withhold our response", Griveaux said.

The Saudi authorities said last week that Khashoggi died in a "brawl" in its consulate.

Trump has repeatedly declined to say if Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind or aware of the killing as many US officials and foreign governments have concluded, in part because numerous crown prince's associates were involved in the killing.

"Bad deal, should have never been thought of".

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In a speech in Turkey's capital, Erdogan rejected Saudi Arabia's claim that the death was accidental.

The crown prince even joked about the incident at the forum, saying Hariri would be in Saudi Arabia this time for two days.

Still, Pompeo stressed the strategic importance of the U.S. -Saudi relationship.

Dmitriev likened the investigation into Khashoggi's killing to recent accusations levelled against Russia over the poisoning of a former Russian spy in Britain and cyber-attacks around the world.

Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel heard an audio recording of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during her visit to Turkey this week, two sources told Reuters on Thursday, the first indication Ankara has shared its key evidence.

University of Montreal law professor Daniel Turp, who is trying to challenge the Saudi deal in court on the basis that it violates Canada's human-rights obligations, said there was "something very unhealthy that this is a Crown corporation that is hiding information from the public".

The United States is backing Saudi Arabia and supplying military equipment in the kingdom's fight against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels in Yemen.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Saudi officials made "reconnaissance" trips to the forest as well as the city of Yalova a day before Khashoggi was killed.

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But Democratic Senate and House leaders Chuck Schumer of NY and Nancy Pelosi of California said Trump's words "ring hollow ". Trump has repeatedly criticised CNN as "fake news" and disparaged the mainstream news media as an "enemy of the people".

With more than three weeks since Khashoggi disappeared, and the Saudi failure to produce a body - the Turkish authorities have not ruled out the possibility that the body of Khashoggi remains in Turkey.

Saudi officials raised the idea of a security pact in advance of Trump's visit past year to Saudi Arabia, where he announced a massive arms deal.

"18 people should be carried out in Istanbul, that is my proposal". "The American people want answers, and we will demand that those answers are forthcoming".

Lockheed said this week they did not know when a firm agreement would be signed.

"Why is the body of a person - who is clearly accepted to have been killed - still not located?" asked Erdogan.

Falih said Khashoggi's killing was regrettable, adding that "nobody in the kingdom can justify it".

Trump spoke Sunday with the crown prince, who is the son of Saudi King Salman.

Soon after the murder on 2 October, Turkish media quoted officials as saying they had audio recordings of Khashoggi's interrogation and death, but gave no details about the contents or how the audio had been obtained.

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To that end, CIA Director Gina Haspel was in Turkey Tuesday and due back to the USA either Tuesday night or Wednesday, according to the president, who added he expects to receive a report on findings "soon".

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