World reacts with skepticism to Saudi account of Jamal Khashoggi's death

TEHRAN, Oct. 21 (MNA) – American lawmakers and European leaders have reacted with skepticism following the Saudi government's confirmation of journalist Jamal Khashoggi's death.

According to the Saudi statement, "discussions that took place between him and the persons who met him during his attendance in the Kingdom's consulate in Istanbul led to a quarrel and a brawl with the citizen/Jamal Khashoggi, resulted in his death." Eighteen Saudi nationals have been arrested as the investigation continues.

"I'm not satisfied until we find the answer," Mr Trump said, adding that sanctions were a possibility, but that halting an arms deal would "hurt us more than it would hurt them".

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas) on Friday accused senior White House adviser Jared Kushner of orchestrating the killing of Saudi-born Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Castro, who serves on the House Intelligence Committee, told CNN he did not have substantial evidence to support his claim, but repeatedly cited media reports on the subject.

Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland said on Saturday that Saudi Arabia's "explanations offered to date lack consistency and credibility" and called for a thorough investigation. "Those responsible for the killing must be held to account and must face justice."

The EU's top diplomat Federica Mogherini called Saturday for a thorough investigation into the "deeply troubling" death of Saudi critic Jamal Khashoggi and full accountability for those responsible.

Saudi prince and dissident Khalid bin Farhan al-Saud, who lives in exile in Germany, accused MBS directly. “When such an act is carried out, naturally it requires the consent of the head of government,” he told Deutsche Welle. “I could not say that King Salman is directly involved but I believe the decision and the implementation of the killing leads to his son, Mohammed.”

French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian on Saturday demanded a "thorough and diligent investigation" into the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who, Riyadh finally admitted, was killed inside its Istanbul consulate.

All the facts about the murder of Saudi journalist have not yet been revealed, Danish prime minister Larks Lokke Rasmussen also said Saturday. "The fact that the Saudis last night confirmed that he died, after previously insisting he left the consulate alive, shows that we haven't been told the full truth," Rasmussen told state broadcaster DR.

Chancellor Angela Merkel on Saturday spoke critical of Saudi Arabia's official explanation on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and demanded "full facts" be revealed.

Germany should not approve arms sales to Saudi Arabia until investigations into the circumstances of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death have been completed, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Saturday.

LR/PR

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