Saudi FM says authorities dont know where Khashoggi´s body is

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Citing unidentified current and former USA intelligence officials, it said the 2017 conversation was intercepted by US spy agencies.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir said after meeting with lawmakers Friday that Congress should wait for the outcome of trials of 17 alleged assailants of Khashoggi, including five men who are facing the death penalty. "The president has been very clear - couldn't be more clear - as we get additional information, we will continue to hold all of those responsible accountable". There was no order given to murder Jamal Khashoggi.

A senior administration official told the AP that the State Department regularly updates Congress on the status of the case and that the USA government will continue to work to hold accountable those responsible for the death.

After denying the killing for two weeks, Riyadh finally described it as a "rogue" operation and arrested a number of senior Saudi officials.

Questioned why those in custody couldn´t tell them where the body was, Jubeir responded: "We are still investigating". "Don't judge us before the process is complete".

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Ahead of the deadline, a group of Republican and Democratic senators on Thursday renewed their push to penalize Saudi Arabia, unveiling legislation to bar some arms sales and impose sanctions. More than 60 people, many of whom are believed to be human rights activists, were arrested in May 2017 alone by the Saudi government during a wave of detentions, according to a January 2018 report released by two leading worldwide human rights lawyers.

A New York Times report on Friday said the Central Intelligence Agency had intercepted communications of MBS telling a top aide in 2017 that he would go after Khashoggi "with a bullet" if the journalist did not return to Saudi Arabia.

"I'm not going to comment on reports based on anonymous sources", Jubeir said. "I don't know the background".

Khashoggi's body was dismembered and has not been found.

Turkey says he was killed by a team of 15 Saudis who strangled him at the mission, and media reports have said his body was cut up and dissolved in acid.

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