Saudi considers admitting Khashoggi died in botched op


Saudi Arabia was preparing last night to admit that the journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed accidentally in its custody, according to sources close to a joint inquiry with Turkey. "The report is intended, per CNN, to absolve the Saudi government of responsibility for the murder by claiming the operation was not cleared", the new report said.

Turkish officials have said they fear a Saudi hit team killed and dismembered Khashoggi, who wrote columns that were critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The Saudi stock exchange opened about 2 per cent higher, after a plunge of at least 7 per cent the day before following President Donald Trump's warning that the oil-rich kingdom deserved "severe punishment" if it is proven to have been responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance.

"Growing tensions over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul has proved supportive for oil prices", said ING commodities strategist Warren Patterson.

The journalist was a one-time Saudi royal family insider turned critic who left the nation a year ago and began writing pieces for The Washington Post.

The statement was issued as global concern grew over the writer who vanished on a visit to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago.

Analysts said, however, that it was hard to imagine Saudi Arabia taking action that would hit world oil supply. But he said the royal court would soon put out a narrative that an official within the kingdom's intelligence services - who happened to be a friend of Prince Mohammed - had carried out the killing. Saudi Arabian officials said it would retaliate against any actions taken over the Khashoggi case.

"And princesses, fleeing Saudi Arabia", Alhadj said.

President Trump tweeted Monday morning that he had spoken by phone with King Salman of Saudi Arabia and that the king "denies any knowledge of whatever may have happened" to Khashoggi.

Companies and executives in other industries also appeared to distance themselves from the Saudis Monday.

Khashoggi's alleged murder at the hands of Saudi operatives - something the kingdom has vehemently denied - is just the latest in a series of events raising the temperature of the kingdom's diplomatic relationship with many Western nations.

"If they don't buy it from us, they're going to buy it from Russian Federation or they're going to buy it from China or they're going to buy it from other countries", Trump said at a news conference on Saturday. Trump announced he'd dispatched Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to the kingdom - and anywhere else necessary - to get to the bottom of the apparent demise of Khashoggi, a Saudi who had been living and working in the United States. On October 2, Khashoggi went to the Saudi consulate with his fiancée to get documents proving his divorce. Ford chairman Bill Ford and Uber chief executive Dara Khosrowshahi are also among those who will not be attending the conference.