Saudi Arabia describes Khashoggis death as a murder for first time
- A Saudi government official on Sunday described as a "murder" for the first time.
- "We are determined to uncover every stone. We are determined to find out all the facts. And we are determined to punish those who are responsible for this murder," Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Fox News.
- Jubeir's remarks came just two days after Saudi Arabia officially acknowledged Khashoggi's death after nearly three weeks of denials.
A Saudi government official on Sunday described Jamal Khashoggi's death as a "murder" for the first time.
Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Fox News that the journalist's death was a "tremendous mistake" and part of a rogue operation that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had no prior knowledge of.
"The individuals who did this did this outside the scope of their authority," he said. "There obviously was a tremendous mistake made, and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to try to cover up. That is unacceptable in any government."
Jubeir added: "We are determined to uncover every stone. We are determined to find out all the facts. And we are determined to punish those who are responsible for this murder."
Jubeir's description of Khashoggi's death as a "murder" is a stark departure from Saudi Arabia's initial explanation of Khashoggi's disappearance, and it comes just two days after Saudi Arabia officially acknowledged Khashoggi's death following nearly three weeks of denials.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who was often critical of his government, went missing October 2 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish officials accused Saudi Arabia of sending in a team to brutally kill Khashoggi in the consulate, but the Saudis vehemently denied this.
The Saudi government initially claimed Khashoggi safely departed the consulate and went on to deny involvement in his mysterious disappearance for 17 days.
But on Friday, the Saudi government released a statement saying Khashoggi died during a fistfight in the consulate. It also said 18 men were arrested in connection with the incident.
Saudi Arabia's latest claims surrounding Khashoggi's fate have been met with widespread skepticism.
The narrative surrounding Khashoggi's disappearance has been shaped largely by leaks from Turkish officials to local media and other outlets, making it difficult to confirm exactly how the journalist died.
Various reports have suggested that Khashoggi was interrogated, tortured, and killed inside the consulate, his body potentially dismembered with a bone saw by a forensic specialist.
The Washington Post has reported that US intelligence intercepts suggested Crown Prince Mohammed, the de facto Saudi ruler, had orchestrated a plot to capture Khashoggi. The crown prince is suspected of having far more knowledge of the operation that led to the journalist's death than the Saudi government is acknowledging.
Video: Saudi official denies crown prince's involvement in Khashoggi's death
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