Son of murdered journalist Khashoggi flees Saudi Arabia for US

Win McNamee  Getty Images North America

Win McNamee Getty Images North America

Trump has also blamed the Saudi de facto leader, who is known in media as "MBS", for the killing of Khashoggi.

Mr. Trump, while he has threatened severe consequences for those responsible for Khashoggi's death, has expressed a reluctance to halt arms sales with the Saudis, emphasizing the economic importance of those transactions to the United States' economy.

"On this occasion, and from this place where the spirit of Jamal has been lost, we clearly state that we will not accept compromises in the case of his murder", the group outside the consulate said in a statement, read out in Arabic, Turkish and English.

Turkey said it believed a hit squad of Saudi nationals had travelled to Istanbul with the sole goal of killing Khashoggi, a former member of the Saudi elite who became critical of the current government's administration in his country.

From the time he vanished into the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, Riyadh's allied newspapers and TV stations across the region echoed the Saudi denial of any knowledge of his fate or weaved alternative scenarios of an alleged plot by rivals Qatar and Turkey to destabilize the kingdom.

This image taken on October 23, 2018 shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman shaking hands with Jamal Khashoggi's son in Riyadh on October 23, 2018.

There was no immediate comment from Saudi officials, but Whitson said that they were apparently allowed to leave after a travel ban on Salah was lifted.

The Saudi disclosure came after Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel heard an audio recording of the killing during a fact-finding visit to Turkey this week.

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The reports have claimed Khashoggi was tortured and killed by a 15-member "hit squad" from Saudi Arabia.

Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor said on Thursday that the murder was premeditated.

US President Donald Trump has stated that it will be up to the US Congress to decide what to do in response to the killing.

Ilnur Cevik, an adviser to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has accused Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman of having Khashoggi's "blood on his hands".

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post and a Saudi dissident, was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, in early October by Saudi officials.

Turkish officials and some USA lawmakers allege the crown prince ordered the operation in which Jamal Khashoggi killed.

French President Emmanuel Macron and British Prime Minister Theresa May both spoke via telephone with King Salman, according to a statement issued by the Saudi Foreign Ministry late Thursday, hours after the European Parliament's resolution passed. He told reporters on Thursday that he wanted to know where Khashoggi's body is.

Governments around the world, however, did not believe those claims. They also photographed Saudi diplomatic vehicles scouting wooded areas in the days before Khashoggi disappeared. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo participated in the meeting, the State Department said.

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