Saudi foreign minister: Crown Prince had absolutely no role in Khashoggi death

Khashoggi’s killing has plunged Saudi Arabia into its worst diplomatic crisis since the September 11 attacks

The U.S. Treasury announced Thursday punishing sanctions on 17 Saudis for their role in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

One of them, Ahmed al-Assiri, a former deputy head of intelligence, issued an order for Khashoggi's return on September 29, the prosecutor said.

Earlier on Thursday, the Saudi Public Prosecutor's office said a total of 11 people were charged, adding that the five people facing capital punishment were directly involved in "ordering and executing the crime".

He said the Washington Post columnist was murdered after "negotiations" for his return to the kingdom failed, and the person who ordered the killing was the head of the negotiating team that was sent to repatriate him.

The calls for the death penalty come after Mr Khashoggi's fiancee said the "evil criminals and their cowardly political masters" should be held to account for his death. One Turkish official told Reuters that officials who heard the recordings, which include Khashoggi's killing and conversations leading up to the operation, were horrified but their countries had done nothing.

Saudi officials say they are pursuing the death penalty for five of the people involved in Khashoggi's death - which they now claim happened because he received a sedative overdose after getting into a fight with embassy officials. Zayani said the statement by the Saudi Public Prosecution confirms the Kingdom's keenness to investigate away from politicization.

The deputy chief of intelligence ordered that Khashoggi be brought back to the kingdom, Shaalan said.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu on Wednesday called for the worldwide investigation into the October 2 killing of Khashoggi. Instead, the prosecutor said it has generated "a composite sketch of the collaborator".

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US Democratic Senator Chris Coons dismissed that idea as "utterly incredible" and called for a US investigation using information from Turkish intelligence and other sources. "This process can not be closed down in this way", he added.

Turkey says it has recordings related to the killing which it shared with Western allies.

Khashoggi, a contributor to The Washington Post, was killed October 2, soon after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents he needed to remarry.

"It's pretty hard for me to believe that 15 people just on their own fly to Turkey and chop somebody up in a consulate and never tell anybody in Saudi Arabia about it", said Republican Senator Lindsey Graham, when asked about Bolton's comment, as reported by The Hill.

"But we already know that the murder was planned in advance and that the journalist was first killed and the body was later dismembered", he added.

Khashoggi, a critic of MBS's supposed reform programme, was killed after he entered the consulate on October 2 to obtain a document certifying his divorce.

But in recent weeks, he's also said he didn't believe Saudi leaders had betrayed him in the case and reiterated he believes it would be foolish for the U.S.to cancel arms deals with the country because it might hurt U.S.jobs.

Khashoggi, once a Saudi royal family insider, grew critical of the kingdom's rulers following their crackdown on opposition, their war on neighbouring Yemen and the severing of Saudi ties with the small Gulf state of Qatar. He said that the accused and the victim in this case are Saudi nationals and the incident took place on a Saudi territory, in reference to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

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