Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor said Thursday that the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in their consulate in Istanbul was premeditated, reversing course yet again on Saudi's account of what happened.
"Whether or not they acted in the name of the state, that remains to be discussed and investigated", she said.
Khashoggi, a Saudi insider-turned-critic who worked as a Washington Post columnist, was last seen on 2 October, when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to retrieve paperwork for his planned marriage.
"First, we know that killing was in the consulate, which is representative of the state of Saudi Arabia", Callamard said.
The kingdom, who oiringally denied all knowledge of Khashoggi's whereabouts, has since admitted he was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, blaming a "rogue operation".
In a separate statement, SPA said the crown prince presided over the first meeting of a committee to restructure the kingdom's intelligence services.
Amid the ongoing furor over Khashoggi's death, Saudi King Salman has sacked the deputy head of the Saudi intelligence agency - and a top aide - while also ordering the arrest of 18 suspects in the case.
Still, neither Trump nor Saudi Arabia has been willing to implicate Saudi leadership in the journalist's killing.
Saudi Arabia's crown prince yesterday broke his silence on the sickening killing, saying the murder was a "heinous crime that can not be justified".More news: Barcelona star Lionel Messi to miss El Clasico after suffering broken arm
"All of these elements indicate that the disappearance and now killing of Jamal Khashoggi bear the hallmark of an extrajudicial execution".
The global response on how best deal with Saudi Arabia as details of the murder become clearer has been mixed.
On Wednesday, Britain joined the United States in revoking visas of those suspected of killing the 59-year-old Khashoggi, while the U.S and several Western governments weigh further action against Saudi Arabia, including possibly cutting off arms sales.
But Spanish Prime Minister Pedro Sanchez said Madrid would fulfill its commitment to sell Saudi Arabia 400 precision bombs despite his "dismay" over the "terrible murder" of Khashoggi.
The Saudi Arabia flag flies outside the country's consul general's official residence in Istanbul, Wednesday, Oct. 24, 2018.
According to an Elysee Palace readout of the conversation, Macron pressed his Saudi counterpart for more clarity on what happened to Khashoggi and told him France considers freedom of expression and freedom of the press an "essential priority".
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One of Khashoggi's sons, Salah, who was pictured shaking hands with the Saudi king and crown prince this week, has left the kingdom, according to two people close to the family.