Jamal Khashoggi case: All the latest updates

Saudi Arabia's foreign minister says Turkey's statements on journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder is not targeting MBS.

    Saudi Arabia has admitted Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

    Khashoggi - a Saudi writer, US resident and Washington Post columnist - entered the building on October 2 to obtain documentation certifying he had divorced his ex-wife so he could remarry. 

    After weeks of repeated denials that it had anything to do with his disappearance, the kingdom eventually acknowledged that its officials were behind the gruesome murder. The whereabouts of his body are still unknown.

    Here are the latest developments:

    Tuesday, November 20

    Saudi FM: Turkey not blaming MBS over Khashoggi's killing

    Saudi Arabia's foreign minister rejected media reports that CIA believes the country's crown prince ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and said Turkish statements on the matter is not targeting Mohammed bin Salman.

    "We in the kingdom know that such allegations about the crown prince have no basis in truth and we categorically reject them, whether through leaks or not," Adel al-Jubeir said in an interview with Ashaq al-Awsat newspaper in remarks published on Tuesday.

    "They are leaks that have not been officially announced, and I have noticed that they are based on an assessment, not conclusive evidence," he added.

    Report: Saudi royals turn on king's favourite son after killing

    Members of Saudi Arabia's ruling family are agitating to prevent Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) from becoming king after the international uproar over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, sources close to the royal court told Reuters news agency.

    Senior US officials, meanwhile, have indicated to Saudi advisers in recent weeks they would support Prince Ahmed bin Abdulaziz - who was deputy interior minister for nearly 40 years - as a potential successor to King Salman, according to Saudi sources with direct knowledge of the consultations.

    Amid international outrage over Khashoggi's murder, dozens of princes and cousins from powerful branches of the Al Saud family want to see a change in the line of succession, but will not act while King Salman - the crown prince's 82-year-old father - is still alive, sources said.

    They recognise the king is unlikely to turn against his favourite son, the report added.

    Rather, they are discussing the possibility with other family members that after the king's death, Prince Ahmed, 76, uncle of the crown prince, could take the throne, according to the sources.

    Monday, November 19

    France to decide soon on sanctions

    France will decide very soon to impose sanctions on individuals linked to Khashoggi's murder, Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian has said.

    "We are working very closely with Germany at this moment ... and we will decide ourselves a certain number of sanctions very quickly over what we know (about the murder)," Le Drian told Europe 1 radio on Monday when asked whether Paris would follow Berlin in imposing travel bans on Saudi individuals.

    "But we believe that we need to go beyond that because the whole truth needs to be known," he added.

    Turkey discusses Khashoggi murder with UN chief

    UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has held talks with Mevlut Cavusoglu, Turkey's foreign minister, over Khashoggi's killing.

    "They discussed Yemen, Syria, Cyprus, as well as the murder of Jamal Khashoggi," UN spokesperson Stephane Dujarric told reporters.

    On a possible UN inquiry into Khashoggi, he added: "We have not received any formal request from the Turkish side."

    As Cavusoglu left the UN after meeting Guterres, he was asked if he requested an international investigation. "We discussed all the aspects of this," he said.

    Four prominent rights groups - Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International, the Committee to Protect Journalists and Reporters Without Borders - last month urged Turkey to ask the United Nations to investigate the disappearance of Khashoggi.

    Saudi King Salman silent on Khashoggi in Shura council

    Saudi Arabia's King Salman delivered his annual address to the kingdom's Shura council, a top governmental advisory body, following a nation-wide tour with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

    In the highly anticipated address, the 82-year-old monarch lauded his country's judiciary and public prosecution for "carrying out their duty in the service of justice", without directly referring to the killing of the Washington Post columnist, Jamal Khashoggi. 

    Elsewhere in the short speech, the king reiterated his support for the United Nations' efforts to end the war in Yemen, and said that the Palestinian issue was a "top priority for the kingdom".

    The expected address came as members of the US Congress renewed their calls to condemn the kingdom following an assessment by the CIA that the crown prince personally ordered the murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi.

    Saudi Arabia's King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud addresses the Shura Council in Riyadh [Reuters]

    Germany imposes Schengen-wide entry ban on 18 Saudis

    Germany's foreign minister says Berlin has banned 18 Saudi nationals from entering Europe's border-free Schengen zone because they are believed to be connected to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

    Heiko Maas told reporters in Brussels on Monday that Germany issued the ban for the 26-nation zone in close coordination with France, which is part of the Schengen area, and Britain, which is not.

    He says "as before, there are more questions than answers in this case, with the crime itself and who is behind it".

    Maas says the 18 are Saudis who are "allegedly connected to this crime" but gave no further information.

    In Berlin, his office said they were not able to release the names due to German privacy protections.

    Sunday, November 18

    Trump says there's 'no reason' to listen to Khashoggi murder recording

    The US president said on Fox News there's "no reason" for him to listen to an audio recording of Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

    Trump: No reason to hear tape of 'vicious' murder

    Trump confirmed the US has the recording, which was provided by Turkey, but told "Fox News Sunday" that "I don't want to hear the tape, no reason for me to hear the tape".

    He said being briefed was enough and he did not want to hear the audio because it's a "suffering tape, it's a terrible tape", in the interview recorded on Friday.

    The killing was "very violent, vicious and terrible", Trump said. 

    Later on Sunday, Trump said MBS told him directly he had nothing to do with Khashoggi's killing. Trump also said he wonders: "Will anybody really know?"

    Trump says 'full report' on Khashoggi murder in next two days

    The United States President, Donald Trump, has said that his administration will release a full report in the next two days about the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

    Trump told reporters on Saturday that the report will include information on "who did it".

    "We'll be having a very full report over the next two days, probably Monday or Tuesday," he said.

    Saturday, November 17

    US has made no 'final conclusion' on Khashoggi killing: State Department

    The United States government has not reached a final conclusion over Khashoggi's killing, the US State Department has said.

    "Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate," State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement on Saturday.

    WATCH No 'final conclusion' on killing: US State Department

    The statement followed reports in the US media that the CIA had held Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for the October 2 killing.

    "There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr Khashoggi," Nauert said in her statement.

    "The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts. In the meantime, we will continue to consult Congress, and work with other nations to hold accountable those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi."

    Will the US punish Saudi crown prince over Khashoggi murder?

    The Washington Post says the CIA has concluded that the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman did give the order to kill the journalist.

    The American spy agency is not commenting on the reports. Meanwhile, the Saudi embassy in Washington says the CIA assessment is false.

    If not, the CIA finding is the first direct confirmation of the crown prince's involvement after Turkey said the order to kill came from the highest level in the kingdom.

    Where does the finding leave Saudi-US relations? And where does it leave the fate of bin Salman?

    Watch Inside Story below.

    INSIDE STORY: Will the US punish Mohammed bin Salman? (24:30)

    Trump briefed on Khashoggi murder by CIA, Pompeo

    US President Donald Trump has been briefed on Khashoggi's murder after a CIA assessment that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, ordered the killing, the White House has said.

    Trump discussed the CIA assessment by phone with the agency's director, Gina Haspel, and Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters on Saturday.

    The CIA believes the Saudi crown prince, the country's de-facto ruler, ordered Khashoggi's killing.

    Speaking to reporters earlier on Saturday, Trump had reiterated that he had been told MBS had not played a role in the journalist's death.

    "We haven't been briefed yet," Trump said. 

    Trump and top administration officials have said Saudi Arabia should be held to account for any involvement in Khashoggi's death and have imposed sanctions on 17 Saudis for their role in the killing.

    But they have also stressed the importance of Washington's ties with Riyadh, even while US lawmakers have called on the administration to punish Saudi Arabia over the murder. 

    Pence says US will hold Khashoggi killers to account

    US Vice President Mike Pence has said the US will hold the murderers of Jamal Khashoggi to account, following reports in US media that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing.

    "The United States is determined to hold all of those accountable who are responsible for that murder," Pence said on the sidelines of the APEC summit in Papua New Guinea.

    The vice president described the murder of the Saudi journalist as an "atrocity" and an "affront to a free and independent press" but declined to comment on classified information.

    Pence spoke after American media outlets, citing US intelligence officials, reported that the CIA had concluded that bin Salman was involved in the plot to kill Khashoggi.

    "We are going to follow the facts," said Pence, adding that the US wanted to preserve a "strong and historic partnership with Saudi Arabia."

    Friday, November 16

    CIA says Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi's murder: reports

    The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist  Jamal Khashoggi  in Istanbul, US media reported on Friday, a finding that contradicts Saudi government assertions that he was not involved.

    According to the Washington Post, who first reported the CIA conclusion, US officials expressed high confidence in the CIA assessment, which is the most definitive to date linking bin Salman to the killing and complicates President Donald Trump's efforts to preserve ties with one of the closest US allies in the region.

    Both the Washington Post and the Associated Press cited unnamed officials familiar with the CIA conclusion. 

    The accuracy of the reports could not be immediately verified.

    Read more here.

    Turkey has second audio recording of Khashoggi killing: Hurriyet

    The "hit-squad" sent from Saudi Arabia to murder Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul planned out their assassination methodically, contradicting key findings from the Saudi public prosecutor's office, a Turkish newspaper has reported.

    Abdulkadir Selvi, a columnist at Hurriyet, said Turkish authorities had a 15-minute audio recording where the Saudi team could be heard discussing and reviewing their plan, and reminding each other of their duties.

    "There is also evidence from the period after the killing. Turkey has the international phone calls made by the 15-member Saudi hit squad," he wrote.

    Selvi said the strongest evidence of the premeditated nature of the killing could be heard in a seven minute audio recording he reported on last month.

    In that recording, Khashoggi's "desperate attempts to survive" could be heard.

    INSIDE STORY: What can Khashoggi tape reveal about his murder? (24:41)

    Funeral prayers held for Jamal Khashoggi in Mecca and Medina

    Funeral prayers have been held in absentia for Khashoggi at the Grand Mosque in Mecca and Prophet Muhammad's mosque in the Saudi city of Medina, two of the holiest places of Islam.

    The prayer, known as "Salat al-Ghaib" or "prayer for the absent", was offered at dawn with the participation of Salah Khashoggi, son of the murdered Washington Post columnist.

    Muslims perform the prayer when the body of the deceased has not been found.

    Read more here.

    Thursday, November 15

    'A price needs to be paid': US Senate bill targets Saudi Arabia

    A bipartisan group of US senators introduced legislation seeking to punish Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi's murder and the kingdom's role in the devastating war in Yemen.

    The move came hours after the United States slapped economic sanctions on 17 Saudis allegedly involved in the killing of Khashoggi inside the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul.

    If the bill were to become law, it would suspend weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and prohibit US refuelling of Saudi coalition aircraft conducting air raids in Yemen.

    It also would impose sanctions on anyone blocking humanitarian access in Yemen and anyone supporting the Houthi rebels.

    Read more here.

    US places sanctions on 17 Saudis

    The United States has placed economic sanctions on 17 Saudis allegedly involved in Khashoggi's murder, including top aide of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saud al-Qahtani.

    The new measures, which follow travel bans already in place, freeze any assets the 17 may have in the US and prohibit any Americans from doing business with them. 

    "The Saudi officials we are sanctioning were involved in the abhorrent killing of Jamal Khashoggi," Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said on Thursday.

    "These individuals who targeted and brutally killed a journalist who resided and worked in the United States must face consequences for their actions."

    The sanctions will be implemented under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, which targets the perpetrators of serious human rights abuses and corruption. The announcement was unusual for Washington, which rarely imposes sanctions on Riyadh.

    The move came after Riyadh's public prosecutor said five out of 11 suspects are facing a possible death sentence in the case. 

    READ MOREWhat is the Magnitsky Act? How does it apply to Khashoggi's case?

    France: Saudi probe proceeding in right direction

    France's foreign ministry has said the probe by Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor into Khashoggi's killing is moving in the right direction. 

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    Saudi's deputy public prosecutor said earlier that Riyadh was seeking the death penalty for five of the 11 suspects charged in connection to the case.

    "We ask that the responsibilities are clearly established and that the perpetrators answer them in a real trial," Agnes von der Muhll, France's foreign ministry spokesperson, told reporters in a daily briefing.

    "The Saudi authorities' announcement that the 18 people arrested in connection with the investigation goes in the right direction."

    Although France has warned of possible sanctions once the truth is established, the French reaction has been relatively guarded. Paris is keen to retain its influence with Riyadh and protect commercial relations spanning energy, finance and military weapons sales.

    Saudi foreign minister: Khashoggi murder should not be politicised

    Adel al-Jubeir, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister, said Khashoggi's killing is now a legal case and should not be politicised after the public prosecutor said it would seek the death penalty for five suspects.

    "The politicisation of the issue contributes to a fissure in the Islamic world while the kingdom seeks the unity of the Islamic world," he told reporters in the capital, Riyadh.

    Last month, Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had called the killing a "political murder", adding that international investigators should be included in the probe.

    Al-Jubeir reiterated that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had "absolutely nothing to do" with the murder, while after being asked about possible international sanctions in response to the case, he said there was a difference between sanctioning individuals and holding the Saudi government responsible.

    Turkey not satisfied with Saudi prosecutor's comments on Khashoggi 

    Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said his country was not satisfied with the Saudi Attorney General's latest account of events leading up to the murder of Khashoggi. 

    Shaalan al-Shaalan, the Saudi deputy public prosecutor, told reporters earlier in the day that the team that killed Khashoggi had been sent to repatriate him. 

    Cavusoglu reiterated that the murder was premeditated and that equipment was brought into Turkey to dismember the body.

    He repeated Ankara's demand that the 15-man team involved in his murder be "tried in accordance with Turkish law" and said that those ordering and carrying out Khashoggi's killing "need to be uncovered".

    "Turkish law is applicable in this case, even though the murder took place in the Saudi consulate," he said.

    Saudi seeks death penalty for five people in Khashoggi murder

    Saudi Arabia is seeking the death penalty for five people involved in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

    Shaalan al-Shaalan, the kingdom's deputy public prosecutor, told a news conference in Riyadh that five men ordered the drugging and dismemberment of Khashoggi after "talks with him failed" inside the country's consulate in Istanbul.

    He added that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, also known as MBS, was not implicated in the gruesome murder that caused global outrage.

    Read more here.

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    Saudi Arabia post-Khashoggi: Business as usual?

    The Listening Post

    Saudi Arabia post-Khashoggi: Business as usual?

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera and news agencies