Mohammed bin Salman calls Khashoggi murder a 'heinous crime'

US to revoke visas of Saudis implicated in killing of writer

The Saudi and Turkish state news agencies both reported that Crown Prince Mohammed and Mr. Erdogan spoke by phone on Wednesday about the Khashoggi case, a call apparently initiated by the crown prince.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has said the Washington Post columnist and critic of the Saudi leadership was killed in a planned, "savage killing" and has demanded Riyadh punish those responsible, no matter how highly placed.

According to the report, Turkish security forces examined the consulate building but Saudi officials did not give them permission to search the garden of the consulate and a well in it.

Speaking in parliament, the Turkish President has said the murder was premeditated and that Saudi Arabia needs to answer questions on who ordered the hit. State Department spokesman Robert Palladino says Washington welcomes the decision.

Saudi Arabia has faced intense global pressure as Turkey continues to release details of its investigation of what happened after Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel has heard audio recordings that are believed to capture the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, media reports say. President Trump said he would "leave it up to Congress" to determine further steps against the kingdom, which is a key US ally in the Middle East and a vast market for USA arms manufacturers.

"So please, no one say that he is kidnapped", Prince Mohammed said, before turning to Hariri and pumping his hand as the crowd erupted in laughter.

Saudi Arabia's Council of Ministers further went on record on state TV on Tuesday to outline that the kingdom had "indicated" its "keenness to hold accountable those who failed in their duties" in Khashoggi's death. The US has dispatched CIA Director Gina Haspel to Turkey to investigate the murder.

A friend of the Khashoggi family - who wished to remain anonymous out of fear of reprisal - told The Associated Press that Salah has been under a travel ban since a year ago because of his father's work.

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Speculation about who might have given the orders has fallen on Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

His message struck a nuanced tone in the USA, where he tried to acknowledge the reforms undertaken by Bin Salman while also highlighting the flaws. "We are unravelling, dismantling (the case) and the world is closely following".

So far, the Trump administration has resisted calls by many U.S. politicians to halt weapons sales to Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh initially denied knowledge of Khashoggi's fate before saying on Saturday he was killed in a fight in the consulate, an account met with skepticism from several Western governments, straining their relations with the world's biggest oil exporter.

On October 2, the day of the killing, operatives disabled CCTV cameras at the consulate, Mr Erdogan said.

The 15 Saudis convened at the consulate about an hour before Khashoggi was due to arrive, the president said.

He also confirmed that a body double for Khashoggi had been deployed by Saudi Arabia.

He is also a former editor of the Saudi newspaper al-Watan and had worked with Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a grandson of the first Saudi king who was detained previous year as part of what the authorities said was an anti-corruption campaign.

"I think this conference will open the gateways to Asian and Russian investment in the Saudi economy regardless, irrespective if the crisis gets resolved or not", said Ayham Kamel of Eurasia Group.

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