Turkish police find Saudi consulate auto abandoned in Istanbul parking lot


Saudi Arabia's King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman have extended their condolences to the family and relatives of the late journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi Press Agency reported early Monday.

The foreign minister reiterated that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was unaware of this operation and the people involved in the murder did not have ties with bin Salman.

The comments from Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir were some of the most direct yet from Riyadh, which has given multiple and conflicting accounts about Khashoggi's killing on October 2, first denying his death and later admitting it amid an global outcry.

Although he asserted that Saudi Arabia was determined to take action to investigate Khashoggi's killing and hold those responsible accountable, al-Jubeir claimed that the government doesn't know how the journalist was killed or where his body is.

On the day Khashoggi disappeared, Cengiz waited for hours outside the consulate for him and, when he did not return, got in touch with authorities as he had instructed her to do, she later said.

"There remains an urgent need for clarification of exactly what happened ... beyond the hypotheses that have been raised so far in the Saudi investigation, which need to be backed by facts to be considered credible".

Merkel had said Sunday that "when it comes to our already limited arms exports. they can not take place in the current situation".

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday he would reveal the "truth" about the Khashoggi case on Tuesday while Turkish officials vowed to pursue the case after Saudi Arabia's admission of guilt.

Turkey's pro-government daily Yeni Safak reported that according to multiple recordings of the incident accessed by them, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was tortured before being decapitated inside Saudi's consulate in Istanbul.

This came in a telephone call made by the crown prince to Salah Jamal Khashoggi, the son of late Jamal Khashoggi. "The individuals who did this, did this outside the scope of their authority".

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A senior Turkish official quoted by CNN said that the Saudi was "brought to Istanbul to act as a body double" for Khashoggi, adding: "This was a premeditated murder and the body was moved out of the consulate".

Germany last month approved 416 million euros ($479 million) worth of arms exports to Saudi Arabia for 2018.

Jubeir added that the Saudi government did not know the whereabouts of Khashoggi's body.

The kingdom's claim on Saturday that Khashoggi died in a "fistfight" were met with worldwide scepticism and allegations of a cover-up to absolve the 33-year-old crown prince of direct responsibility.

It is a step that President Donald Trump has signaled his opposition to, citing the value of United States arms exports to the kingdom.

The kingdom acknowledged Khashoggi's death on Saturday, saying he was killed in a "fistfight".

The newspaper said the four calls went to Bader al-Asaker, the head of Prince Mohammed's office. He initially said he believed the Saudi account.

Last week, a total of 23 consulate employees had also spoken to the prosecutors.

Still, the President's son-in-law offered praise for reforms enacted in the kingdom since Prince Mohammed assumed power, saying they helped advance American interests.