Saudi prince MBS put in charge of intel purge following Khashoggi death

Saudi prince MBS put in charge of intel purge following Khashoggi death

In a statement released Friday, the congressman said the acting ambassador should be recalled following the kingdom's admission that journalist Jamal Khashoggi died at a consulate in Istanbul.

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D., Texas) accused White House aide Jared Kushner of delivering an "enemy's list" to the crown prince of Saudi Arabia that led to the presumed death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"May his soul rest in peace", the statement said.

The Washington Post columnist's death is a "horrible event" that has not gone "unnoticed", Trump said during a defense roundtable at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona where he is holding a rally Friday evening.

Secretary General of United Nations Antonio Guterres has also expressed condolences to Khashoggi's family.

Khashoggi, a critic of the crown prince, went missing after entering the consulate on 2 October to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage.

This, the statement added, "resulted in the formation of the Joint Investigation Team between the Kingdom and the Republic of Turkey and the permission to the Turkish authorities to enter the premisses [sic] of the Consulate of the Kingdom in Istanbul and the residence of the consul, for the Kingdom keenness to know all the facts".

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been appointed to head a ministerial committee tasked with restructuring the General Intelligence Agency, after its deputy director was sacked amid the Khashoggi death scandal.

According to CNN, five high-ranking Saudi officials have been fired, and 18 other Saudis have been arrested and are still being detained.

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The Gulf kingdom admitted last night that Khashoggi was killed at the consulate but said he had died after a fight broke out, claiming Salman had no knowledge of the alleged hit.

Turkish officials claimed to have audio recordings that provided strong evidence Khashoggi, who had been dropped off at the consulate by his fiancée to pick up divorce papers, was tortured for seven minutes before being beheaded.

The journalist's disappearance has sparked global outrage and threatened the US-Saudi relationship.

The country has denied killing the Washington Post journalist Mr Khashoggi, with US President Donald Trump warning of "severe" consequences if the country is found to have ordered his death.

On the Republican side, senator Lindsey Graham, who has been critical of Saudi Arabia in the past, said he doubted the Saudi explanation for Mr Khashoggi's death.

Trump's previous warnings over the case drew an angry response Sunday from Saudi Arabia and its state-linked media, including a suggestion that Riyadh could wield its oil production as a weapon.

The president of the United States, who has long referred to journalists as enemies of the people, celebrated an act of violence against a reporter on US soil - to cheers and laughter from his supporters.

The U.S. Congress is controlled by Trump's fellow Republicans, some of whom have called for tough action against Saudi Arabia.

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