Saudis call Jamal Khashoggi killing a huge mistake

Saudis 'seriously undermined' Turkey's Khashoggi inquiry, says UN expert

U.S. intelligence intercepted a phone call in September 2017 in which the crown prince said Mr Khashoggi should be lured back to Saudi Arabia or forced to return to the kingdom, according to "The New York Times".

Under an existing human rights accountability law the letter gives the president 120 days to designate and punish those responsible.

It was introduced on the date that the Trump administration was supposed to inform Congress on its determination of whether the crown prince was personally responsible for the killing of Khashoggi.

In response, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan slammed the USA and Saudi Arabia again in an interview aired by Turkish television channel TRT on February 3.

Saudi Arabia's foreign ministry tweeted out a veiled threat on Friday - widely perceived to be aimed at Washington -following an article in American media linking powerful Crown Prince Mohammed to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October previous year.

"I have requested an official country visit to Saudi Arabia so that the authorities there can directly provide me with relevant evidence", she wrote.

"The US Government will continue to consult with Congress and work to hold accountable those responsible for Jamal Khashoggi's killing".

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The White House signaled on Friday that it has yet to make a decision on imposing sanctions on those responsible for the murder of the dissident Saudi journalist.

Turkey, which is carrying out its own investigation into Mr Khashoggi's murder, has been frustrated by what Ankara says is a lack of cooperation by Riyadh. "The President maintains his discretion to decline to act on congressional committee requests when appropriate", a senior administration official told CNN. He said that the killing had been a "huge mistake".

Saudi Arabia quietly held a second court hearing for 11 people facing charges over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an independent United Nations human rights expert said, criticising the kingdom for its lack of transparency in the proceedings over the grisly slaying.

The United States has imposed sanctions on 17 Saudi officials for their role in the journalist's death, but US President Donald Trump has said he stands by the crown prince.

The Times, citing unidentified current and former US intelligence officials, said the 2017 conversation was intercepted by USA spy agencies.

Despite widespread demands for an global investigation and to hold the Saudi government accountable, Donald Trump has largely stood by his ally, the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Al-Jubeir said he believed some of the congressional criticism was "driven by politics".

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