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‘Will conduct fair probe into Khashoggi’s death’

‘Will conduct fair probe into Khashoggi’s death’
Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir gestures before a bilateral meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia on Tuesday.
Jakarta, Oct 23 (IANS) | Publish Date: 10/23/2018 11:17:55 AM IST

Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir, who is in Indonesia on an official visit, said on Tuesday that the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi would be thoroughly investigated and those responsible would be punished.

“Our commitment is to seek that the investigation is thorough and complete and that the truth is revealed,” said Al-Jubeir at a joint press conference in Jakarta with his Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi.

“We will see to it ... that procedures and mechanisms are put in place to ensure that something like this can never happen again,” he was cited as saying by Efe news. On Monday, Indonesian President Joko Widodo had expressed his concern over the incident to Al-Jubeir during a meeting at the presidential palace in Bogor, according to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.

Al-Jubeir said that Saudi Arabia had sent a team to Turkey for a joint investigation and “uncovered evidence of a murder” in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s policies, disappeared after he entered the consulate on October 2 to obtain documents for his marriage.

Al-Jubeir said 18 people had been detained and six senior government officials had already been dismissed as a result of the investigation.

The Saudi diplomatic head said there were discrepancies between what the Saudi embassy in Turkey reported and what actually happened.

A video, obtained and broadcast by CNN on Monday, purportedly showed a Saudi agent walking out of the consulate by the back door, wearing Khashoggi’s clothes, spectacles and a fake beard, in an apparent attempt to disguise himself as the slain Saudi journalist.

A Turkish official identified the man in the video as Mustafa al-Madani, who was allegedly part of what investigators said was a hit squad, sent to kill the journalist.

After weeks of denying involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance, Saudi Arabia has given a shifting narrative of what happened to the journalist. 

The Kingdom admitted last week that Khashoggi was killed in the Istanbul consulate, saying his death was the result of a “fistfight”. Later, a Saudi source close to the royal palace told CNN that he died in a chokehold. 

On Sunday, Al-Jubeir described Khashoggi’s death as a “murder” and a “tremendous mistake”.

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