Saudi officials say Jamal Khashoggi killed in altercation, as scepticism grows

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U.S. president Donald Trump said Friday he found Saudi Arabia's explanation about the death of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi credible and termed it an "important first step".

The Public Prosecutor has already investigated a number of suspects on the basis of information provided by the Turkish authorities to the Joint Security Team to determine whether any of them had any information or had any knowledge of what had happened, or whether information was conveyed to the security authorities that indicated that the citizen Jamal Khashoggi had left the consulate. Their ouster came alongside the arrests of 18 Saudi suspects and the dismissal of other intelligence officials.

Khashoggi, who contributed opinion pieces to The Washington Post, visited the consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to sort out marriage paperwork, but his fiancee saw nothing more of him after he entered.

This acknowledgement comes after two weeks of denials from the Saudi government that it had anything to do with his disappearance.

Turkish authorities said days ago, that they had an audio recording of the incident in which they say Khashoggi was interrogated, which led to a struggle, which led to Jamal Khashoggi's death.

"The Secretary-General stresses the need for a prompt thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr Khashoggi's death and full accountability for those responsible".

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Mr Trump says he'll work with Congress on what the U.S. response should be, but that he'd prefer not to hurt American companies and jobs by cutting billions of dollars in arms sales to the kingdom.

Turkish officials have said Khashoggi was killed and dismembered.

Khashoggi, who lived in suburban Washington, was a former insider who turned into a critic of the kingdom's direction under Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The disappearance of Khashoggi, who was a United States resident and Washington Post columnist, caused tension between Saudi Arabia and Western allies, with countries including the UK, Germany and France pressing the Saudis for information on his disappearance. "But at the same time, the brash and abrasive young innovator has not encouraged or permitted any popular debate in Saudi Arabia about the nature of his many changes", Khashoggi wrote in the British daily The Guardian in March.

"The United States must not be complicit in this cover-up". The monarch also relieved deputy intelligence chief General Ahmed al-Assiri and ordered the formation of a committee headed by Prince Mohammed to restructure the kingdom's intelligence agency.

His disappearance had been shrouded in mystery and triggered an global crisis, with Turkish officials accusing Saudi Arabia of a state-sponsored killing.

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Mr Trump said today that he wants to talk to the Saudi crown prince before next steps are taken.

President Donald Trump talks to the media about Jamal Khashoggi before boarding Air Force One on October 18, 2018, in Andrews Air Force Base, Md.

The public prosecutor said Khashoggi died after a fist fight in the consulate.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on behalf of the administration or the Saudi government.

In an article published in the Post previous year, Khashoggi, whose 60th birthday was on October 13, said that under Prince Mohammed - the kingdom's de facto ruler - Saudi Arabia was entering a new era of "fear, intimidation, arrests and public shaming".

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