Saudi FM: King Salman Determined to Hold Perpetrators of Khashoggi Murder to Account

Saudi FM: King Salman Determined to Hold Perpetrators of Khashoggi Murder to Account

Monday, 22 October, 2018 - 06:30
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir. (Reuters)
London - Asharq Al-Awsat
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir condemned as “tremendous mistake” the death of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi, saying that those responsible will be held accountable.

In an interview with Fox News on Sunday, he said that Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman bin Abdulaziz was determined to hold the perpetrators accountable for the murder.

He will set mechanisms inside the security agencies to prevent such incidents from taking place again in the future, revealed the minister.

He also hailed the importance of the “strategic” ties between Washington and Riyadh, adding that this relationship will weather the Khashoggi case and its diplomatic repercussions.

Jubeir explained that King Salman had dispatched an investigation team to Turkey because the reports Saudi Arabia was receiving from Turkey contradicted the reports submitted by the team when it returned to the Kingdom.

King Salman ordered the general prosecutor to open a probe, which revealed that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, said the minister.

“We don’t know, in terms of details, how. We don’t know where the body is,” he added.

The general prosecutor has since ordered the detention of 18 suspects for questioning.

King Salman ordered the dismissal of a number of officials related to this file, continued Jubeir.

“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,” he stressed.

Asked by Fox News about the whereabouts Khashoggi’s corpse, he replied that Saudi authorities were cooperating with the Turkish government.

Moreover, Jubeir said that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, was not aware of the Istanbul operation.

“Even the senior leadership of our intelligence service was not aware of this. This was ... a rogue operation,” he added.

“This was an operation where individuals ended up exceeding the responsibilities they had and they made the mistake when they killed Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate and they tried to cover up for it.”

He said such a cover-up was “unacceptable in any government” and the investigation into Khashoggi’s death would be the start of a long process. He said Saudi King Salman was determined to hold those responsible to account.

“These things unfortunately happen. We want to make sure that those who are responsible are punished and we want to make sure we have procedures in place to prevent it from happening again,” he said.

Asked about alleged recordings the Turkish government has over what took place at the consulate, Jubeir replied that he had no knowledge of them.

He offered his condolence to the Khashoggi family, saying: “We feel their pain. And I wish this didn't happen and I wish that this could've been avoided. Unfortunately, a huge and grave mistake was made. And I assure them, that those responsible will be held accountable for this.”

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