Saudi crown prince calls slain journalist's killing a 'heinous crime'

The journalist died in a premeditated murder plot say Turkish officials

Image Turkey says Mr Khashoggi died in a premeditated murder plot

Saudi Arabia has detained 18 people and dismissed five senior government officials as part of the investigation into Khashoggi's murder. It's the latest turn in the saga of the killed Saudi writer and dissident after the kingdom on Thursday cited evidence showing that his killing was premeditated - changing its story again to try to ease global outrage over the macabre circumstances of Khashoggi's October 2 death at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Speaking at an investment forum he was hosting in Riyadh, the crown prince called the killing a "heinous crime" but offered no new information on what happened.

Turkish officials suspect Khashoggi, 59, was killed inside the consulate by Saudi agents and his body cut up.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, right, shakes hands with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, prior to their meeting in Jiddah, Saudi Arabia, on July, 23, 2017.

Hours earlier US President Donald Trump, in his toughest comments yet, told the Wall Street Journal that the crown prince bore ultimate responsibility for the operation that led to Khashoggi's killing.

Saudi Arabia is the lynchpin of a USA -backed regional bloc against Iran but the crisis has strained Riyadh's relations with the West. Dozens of Western officials, bankers and company executives shunned a big investment conference in Riyadh this week. "The incident is not justifiable", the crown prince said on a discussion panel at the conference. "Where is it?" Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said at a news conference with his Palestinian counterpart.

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He also vowed to hold accountable those behind the crime. "The family wants to know and they want to perform their last duty", Cavusoglu said, referring to hopes for the writer's burial.

"Many are trying to exploit the Khashoggi affair to drive a wedge between Saudi Arabia and Turkey", he said.

Local media reported that the house in the Yalova province near Istanbul, which was raided by 40 policemen, belonged to one of the members of the Saudi hit squad whom Turkish officials accuse of killing Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul.

France will take "appropriate" punitive measures if Saudi Arabia's guilt in Khashoggi's killing is clearly established, a French government spokesman said Wednesday.

Investigators emptied the well and are awaiting the results of an analysis of the water to determine whether body parts were dumped there, according to Yeni Safak, a pro-government Turkish newspaper. The image, obtained by state television TRT and other media, shows a black vehicle with a diplomatic license plate at an entrance to Belgrade Forest.

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