October 23, 2018 / 5:46 AM / 24 days ago

Saudi foreign minister pledges full probe into Khashoggi killing

Saudi Arabia Foreign Minister Adel bin Ahmed Al-Jubeir gestures before a bilateral meeting in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 23, 2018. REUTERS/Willy Kurniawan

JAKARTA (Reuters) - Saudi Arabia’s Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said on Tuesday the kingdom was committed to a thorough and complete investigation to get to the truth behind the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Turkey.

Saudi Arabia had sent a team to Turkey for a joint investigation and “uncovered evidence of a murder” in the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, the minister told a news conference in Indonesia during a state visit.

“We expressed commitment ... to see to it that the investigation is thorough and complete and the truth is revealed and those responsible will be held to account,” al-Jubeir said at the joint news conference with his Indonesian counterpart.

“We will see to it ... that procedures and mechanisms are put in place to ensure that something like this can never happen again,” he said.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of the Saudi government, disappeared after he entered the consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 to obtain documents for his marriage.

Saudi Arabia initially denied knowledge of his fate before saying he had been killed in a fight in the consulate, an explanation that has drawn international scepticism.

U.S. President Donald Trump spoke with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom’s de facto ruler on Sunday, but said he was still not satisfied with what he had heard about the killing.

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

On Monday, al-Jubeir met Indonesian President Joko Widodo who called for a “transparent and thorough” investigation of the killing.

Writing by Ed Davies and Kanupriya Kapoor; Editing by Robert Birsel

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