Mohammed bin Salman calls Khashoggi murder a 'heinous crime'

The gates of the Ritz Carlton hotel are seen open in Riyadh Saudi Arabia

The gates of the Ritz Carlton hotel are seen open in Riyadh Saudi Arabia

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman made his first public remarks about the Washington Post columnist's murder at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, addressing the Future Investment Initiative summit in Riyadh this morning.

"Murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was premeditated", Erdogan said, adding that Turkey has strong evidence that the murder was planned.

Facing global outrage over Khashoggi's killing, Saudi officials are now acknowledging that the journalist was targeted inside the Istanbul consulate in Turkey and a body double was on hand to aid in a cover-up.

Responding to Erdogan's comments, Trump said the Turkish leader was "pretty rough" on the Saudis and that he wants to get all facts on Khashoggi's killing before agreeing with that assessment. Dozens of Saudi activists, writers, clerics and even women who were behind calls for the right to drive have been detained.

Saudi officials at first said that Khashoggi had walked out of the consulate and that they did not know his whereabouts.

But he suggested responsibility lay higher up: "Well, the prince is running things over there more so at this stage. He's running things and so if anybody were going to be, it would be him".

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When Khashoggi, 59, entered the building in Istanbul on October 2, the operation took a violent turn.

Trump told reporters that Erdogan was pretty tough on Saudi Arabia. Those responsible for the killing must be held to account.

"This brutal murder of a journalist, of an innocent man, of a dissident will not go without an American response and, I expect, without an global response", he said at an event hosted by the Washington Post.

On Sunday, Riyadh called the killing a "huge and grave mistake", but sought to shield the crown prince from the widening crisis, saying he had not been aware.

Khashoggi previously had close links with the Saudi royal family, including having served as a media aide to Prince Turki al-Faisal, when the latter was director general of the Saudi intelligence agency.

The incident has severely dented the worldwide reputation of the Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

Trump concedes Khashoggi likely dead, threatens consequences
The network said it was still pursuing an interview with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. The Saudi consul, Mohammed al-Otaibi, abruptly left Istanbul for Riyadh on Tuesday.

Has Mohammed bin Salman said anything before?

Vice President Mike Pence said earlier that Khashoggi's death at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, "will not go without an American response".

Two senior officials have been removed from their posts after the Saudi authorities admitted that Mr Khashoggi had died during an incident in its consulate in Istanbul. Our shared strategic interests with Saudi Arabia remain. Among those fired was Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide to Prince Mohammed.

Jamal Khashoggi is one of the Arab world's most prominent journalists and commentators. Prime Minister Theresa May said she would be speaking to Saudi's King Salman on Wednesday afternoon. So we do that, we're just hurting ourselves. "And we will definitely do that".

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 past year as part of what the authorities said was an anti-corruption campaign.

We'll have more on the death of Jamal Khashoggi after headlines with journalist Rula Jebreal, whose new cover story for Newsweek is titled "Jamal Khashoggi Secret Interview: The Saudi Journalist's Views of Islam, America and the "Reformist" Prince Implicated in His Murder".

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However, as chilling new details on Khashoggi's murder emerge, those countries appear to be divided as to whether beefing up the Saudi war machine is a justifiable choice now.

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