USA to revoke 21 Saudi visas over Khashoggi's death

Iran President Hassan Rouhani

Saudi Arabia initially claimed Khashoggi left freely after visiting the consulate but, as global pressure mounted, the kingdom said he died inside the mission when an argument degenerated into a fistfight.

Shortly afterwards, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the U.S. would "punish those responsible" and had revoked visas of 21 identified suspects.

Saudi Arabia has consistently denied that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was aware of the operation, even though some of his lieutenants were involved.

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.

Saudi officials are now claiming that the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was premeditated.

The US leader, who sent his Central Intelligence Agency director Gina Haspel to Istanbul to discuss the issue, is expecting a full report in the coming days.

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He said he believed Mr Bowers was acting alone, adding: "We have no knowledge that he was known to law enforcement before today". He has been charged with 29 federal counts including violence and firearms offenses as well as violations of civil rights laws.

"These penalties will not be the last word on this matter", Pompeo told reporters at the State Department.

On the same day another team of Saudi officials from the consulate carry out a reconnaissance of Belgrade Forest in Istanbul and the northwestern province of Yalova.

In addition to revoking visas, Mr Pompeo said the United States was looking into the possibility of imposing sanctions on those believed to be involved in Khashoggi's killing.

British Prime Minister Theresa May "strongly urged" Saudi Arabia in a phone call with King Salman on Wednesday to cooperate with a Turkish investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, her office said.

He said: "The US will remain a key part of the Saudi economy because the interests that tie us are bigger than what is being weakened by the failed boycotting campaign of the conference".

An adviser to Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Prince Mohammed had "blood on his hands" over Khashoggi, the bluntest language yet from someone linked to Turkey's president.

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The meeting came four days after the Saudi government first acknowledged that Khashoggi had died after visiting a Saudi consulate in Turkey Oct. 2.

Saudi Arabia says senior officials including Prince Mohammed were unaware of the operation.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the move to revoke visas was just a first step.

Erdogan refused to accept Saudi Arabia's explanation that the Saudi journalist was accidentally killed.

The killing also overshadowed a major investment forum that opened in Riyadh Tuesday.

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