Saudi Crown Prince Calls Khashoggi Death a ‘Heinous Crime That Cannot Be Justified’

Mohammed bin Salman says journalist’s death has been “painful” at Future Investment Initiative on Wednesday

saudi arabia crown prince Mohammad Bin Salman Al Saud
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Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a “heinous crime that cannot be justified,” while speaking at the Future Investment Initiative in Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

Bin Salman said Khashoggi’s death has been “painful,” and that “justice will prevail.” He said Saudi officials are working with the Turkish government to fully understand what happened to Khashoggi, a former Washington Post reporter that was critical of the Saudi royal family.

The conference has been overshadowed by death of Khashoggi, who disappeared at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul three weeks ago, with several prominent speakers backing out of their appearances in recent weeks. After denying for weeks that they knew anything about Khashoggi’s disappearance, Saudi officials admitted last weekend that he died at the consulate, saying he was killed in a fistfight.

That claim contradicts what Turkish officials, citing audio evidence, have argued: that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered within minutes of entering the consulate with the blessing of the crown prince. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan called Khashoggi’s death on Tuesday a “premeditated murder.”

President Trump, in an interview with the Wall Street Journal on Wednesday, said it’s a “very sad situation” that’s been “poorly handled.” The president said there are several “different stories” on Khashoggi’s death, and that he’ll have more to say after U.S. officials return from Saudi Arabia on Wednesday. “But no matter what,” the president added, “from the least sinister to the most sinister — and the most sinister is really bad. And then certainly the coverup, if that’s what it was, which it seems like it was, was very poorly handled. Should have never happened.”