Saudi attorney general says Khashoggi was killed during fight in consulate


Jubeir has been the first senior Saudi official to speak on the record after the government admitted Mr Khashoggi had died.

'There remains an urgent need for clarification of exactly what happened - beyond the hypotheses that have been raised so far in the Saudi investigation, which need to be backed by facts to be considered credible.

However, in a conflicting report, an unidentified official told Reuters on Sunday that a team of 15 agents had acted without Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's authorisation to kidnap the journalist.

Turkey has maintained that a Saudi hit squad brutally murdered the journalist, but Riyadh has continuously denied wrongdoing. Ever since he disappeared on October 2 while visiting the mission, Saudi officials have repeatedly said that he left the consulate alive and that they had no information about his whereabouts or fate.

He was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to pick up a document he needed to marry his Turkish fiancee.

Saudi Arabia said information provided by Turkey helped the Kingdom reveal the truth about Khashoggi's murder. He insists Khashoggi is no longer inside the consulate and says Turkish authorities are welcome to search the diplomatic mission.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who has said the United States would consider sanctions against Saudi Arabia, emphasized on Saturday that he was not satisfied with the Saudis' handling of the case.

The refocus on the consulate employees suggests that investigators are seeking to bolster a possible criminal case. It took Khashoggi seven minutes to die, the sources said.

Two days after Khashoggi's disappearance, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Bloomberg News that the journalist had left the consulate. "It's early, we haven't finished our review or investigation".

Riyadh had to be held to account for the death of Khashoggi and the imprisonment of other journalists, Christophe Deloire, Secretary General of the Paris-based media rights watchdog tweeted.

"Saudi "explanation" leaves most questions unanswered".

While some are calling for USA sanctions against Saudi Arabia, Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said on Sunday that it is too early to discuss such measures "until we get further down the investigation and get to the bottom of what occurred". 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.

The Saudi foreign minister offered his condolences to the family of Khashoggi and said the death was a "tremendous mistake".

It added Royal court advisor Saud al-Qahtani and intelligence chief Ahmed Amiri have been saved from their positions.

When asked if he believes Saudi Arabia's explanation, Paul said, "Absolutely not, I think it's insulting".