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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 14 November 2018

Saudis vow complete probe of Khashoggi murder, according to Jim Mattis

Reports suggest a total of six officials from the country have been dismissed over the murder

US Defence Secretary James Mattis walks by as Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir is seen on a screen addressing the 14th International Institute for Strategic Studies Manama Dialogue in the Bahraini capital. AFP 
US Defence Secretary James Mattis walks by as Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir is seen on a screen addressing the 14th International Institute for Strategic Studies Manama Dialogue in the Bahraini capital. AFP 

Saudi Arabia has promised a "full" investigation into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, US Defence Secretary Jim Mattis said Sunday following talks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir in Bahrain.

"We discussed it... the need of transparency, full and complete investigation. Full agreement from Mr Al Jubeir, no reservations at all," Mr Mattis told reporters on a flight from Manama to Prague.

During the talks in Bahrain, Mr Al Jubeir clarified that there were a total of six dismissed as part of the preliminary actions taken into the investigations.

The terminations by royal decree include three high-ranking officials from Saudi Arabia's National Security apparatus: Assistant Chief of General Intelligence for Intelligence Affairs Mohammad bin Saleh Al Rumaih; Assistant Chief of General Intelligence for Human Resources, Maj Gen Abdullah bin Khalifa Al Shaya; and Director of the General Directorate of Security and Protection at General Intelligence Presidency, Rashad bin Hamed Al Muhamadi.

Saud bin Abdullah Al Qahtani has also been dismissed from his post as adviser at the Royal Court and Ahmed bin Hassan bin Mohammed Assiri of his post as deputy president of the General Intelligence.

The identity of the sixth official was not immediately known.

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Read more:

Prince Mohammed bin Salman: Jamal Khashoggi killing 'heinous crime that cannot be justified'

FII: Saudi Arabia set on achieving its 'grand vision' of diversification

Saudi FM Adel Al Jubeir: Jamal Khashoggi killing was 'tremendous mistake' carried out in rogue operation

Jamal Khashoggi: Footage of writer 'body double' emerges after killing

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Saudi journalist Khashoggi, 59, had lived in self-imposed exile in the United States since 2017.

He was murdered after entering his country's Istanbul consulate on October 2 to obtain paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancee.

Crown Prince Mohammed publicly denounced the murder as "repulsive", while the Saudi prosecutor acknowledged for the first time this week that based on the evidence of a Turkish investigation the killing had been "premeditated".

But Riyadh on Saturday dismissed Ankara's calls to extradite 18 Saudis being held over Khashoggi's murder.

Addressing a forum in Manama on Saturday, Mattis warned that "the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in a diplomatic facility must concern us all greatly.

"Failure of any nation to adhere to international norms and the rule of law undermines regional stability at a time when it is needed most," he stressed.

Mr Mattis did not have a formal bilateral meeting with Mr Al Jubeir on the sidelines of the Manama forum, where he met with several Arab and European leaders.

The two men spoke at a dinner gathering for all the ministers.