Saudi Crown Prince says journalist's killing was a 'heinous crime'

Saudi Crown Prince says journalist's killing was a 'heinous crime'

Saudi Arabia's crown prince Wednesday denounced the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and vowed justice would prevail, without addressing United States accusations of a botched cover-up over the killing by the Gulf kingdom.

Rouhani's comments came after US President Donald Trump on Tuesday called Saudi Arabia's account of Khashoggi's killing in Turkey as "the worst cover up ever" and revoked visas for Saudi agents suspected in the killing.

The French president "informed (King Salman) of his profound indignation at the crime and demanded that all possible light be shone on the circumstances that led to this drama", his office said in a statement.

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Earlier, the U.S. leader denounced Khashoggi's murder and its cover-up by the Saudi Arabia as a "total fiasco from day one".

Dozens of Western politicians, top world bankers and company executives boycotted this year's Future Investment Initiative conference that opened in Riyadh on Tuesday, but the world's largest oil exporter showed it could still do business by signing deals worth US$50 billion (S$68.96 billion) on the first day.

Turkish intelligence has shared "all the evidence" over the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi with the CIA chief during a visit, pro-government media reported on Wednesday.

Mr Erdogan himself kept up his pressure on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday.

Manal Al-Sharif says "this is a new level the Saudi government is reaching", adding that people inside the kingdom "are so afraid to speak up".

Saudi Arabian Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the G20 opening ceremony on September 4, 2016, in Hangzhou, China.

Also on Tuesday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced that the USA has "identified at least some of the individuals responsible" for Khashoggi's death, "including those in the intelligence services, the royal court, the foreign ministry and other Saudi ministries".

Turkish officials say the 15 men comprised a Saudi hit squad that included a member of Prince Mohammed's entourage on overseas trips.

He has been widely accused of ordering the murder of the journalist, who was a critic of the ruling House of Saud and the Crown Prince's record in particular.

After two weeks of Saudi denials, diplomats eventually admitted Khashoggi was "mistakenly" killed during a brawl in the consulate.

Khashoggi's doppelganger was seen at various locations after the scribe was last seen walking into the Saudi consulate, with CNN reporting that the body double was seen exiting the consulate's back door after 90 minutes of Khashoggi's arrival at the premises.

Still, Mr Pompeo stressed the strategic importance of the US-Saudi relationship.

He said Turkey had strong evidence Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated and "savage" murder at the consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

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