Trump says not ready to hear 'suffering tape' of Khashoggi murder

Saudi Arabia seeks death penalty against 5 suspects in Khashoggi killing

Among the differences between the USA and Saudi statements Thursday, Treasury's account appeared to indicate a planned killing, while the Saudi prosecutor said the decision to kill Khashoggi was made on site by a minor official, presumably one of the agents who had been sent to bring him back to Saudi Arabia. The second tape proves the 15-member "killer team" seated inside the consulate before Khashoggi's arrival was discussing how to carry out the murder, he said.

Saudi Arabia's top diplomat has said the crown prince had "absolutely" nothing to do with the killing. Trump says "maybe he did and maybe he didn't". He says "as before, there are more questions than answers in this case, with the crime itself and who is behind it".

The sanctions freeze any assets the 17 may have in the USA and prohibit any Americans from doing business with them.

The prosecutor's version of events hewed closely to a Saudi statement last month saying that the agents had been ordered only to persuade, or if necessary to force, the return to Saudi Arabia of Khashoggi, a US resident and contributing columnist for The Washington Post who has written critically of the ruling monarchy. Trump is expecting a full report on the situation soon. Many, along with current and former USA officials and Middle East experts, have said that the Istanbul operation would not have been launched without the knowledge and approval of Mohammed, considered Saudi Arabia's de facto leader under his father, King Salman.




The White House slapped 17 Saudi Arabian government officials with economic sanctions in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Khashoggi's friends, Turkish politicians and others attended Friday's funeral prayers at Istanbul's Fatih Mosque. The announcement failed to appease Turkey, which has piled increasing pressure on Saudi Arabia, but may be enough for some of Riyadh's Western allies to move on and press for key demands.

Asked whether the crown prince had lied to him in denying any role in the killing, Mr Trump said: "I don't know". After repeated denials, Saudi Arabia finally admitted in mid-October that Khashoggi had been murdered at the compound, but blamed it on a "rogue" operation. But it said he made the call at the direction the crown prince, and the call was intercepted by USA intelligence. The sanctions were announced Thursday.

The intelligence agency reportedly examined a phone call between the crown prince's brother Khalid bin Salman, who is the Saudi ambassador to the US, and Khashoggi. Khashoggi died after being drugged and then dismembered, a spokesman for the public prosecutor's office said in the first Saudi confirmation of how he was killed. The newspaper said the prince's brother, who is the current Saudi ambassador to the United States, told Khashoggi he would be safe in going to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to retrieve the documents he needed to get married.

That echoed remarks by national security adviser John Bolton, who said earlier this week that people who have listened to an audio recording of the killing do not think it implicates the crown prince.

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