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Riyadh ‘preparing statement admitting Khashoggi killed in consulate’

PRESSURE was mounting on Saudi Arabia today after it was reported that Riyadh was preparing a statement admitting that dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed in its Istanbul consulate last week.

It would see the despotic Gulf state backtrack on previous claims that the Washington Post columnist had left the building alive after he went to obtain routine papers for his forthcoming marriage.

US President Donald Trump appeared to back claims made by the Saudi king that “rogue killers” were involved in a botched interrogation of Mr Khashoggi.

“It wasn’t like there was a question in [King Salman’s] mind. The denial was very strong,” he told reporters at the White House on Monday.

Yesterday Republican Senator Lindsey Graham appeared to shift the blame onto Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, branding him a “wrecking ball” and accusing him of ordering the murder.

“There is difference between a country and an individual. The MBS figure is, to me, is toxic. He can never be a world leader on the world stage,” he said, urging sanctions be imposed.

He insisted that Saudi Arabia was “a good ally” but accused the crown prince of “tainting” the country.

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