Mohammed bin Salman told aide he would use 'a bullet' on Khashoggi

Modi with Mohhamed bin Salman

Modi with Mohhamed bin Salman

Special UN rapporteur Agnes Callamard said on Thursday after a visit to Turkey that the killing of Khashoggi, who had written critical pieces on Saudi Arabia in The Washington Post, had been "planned and perpetrated" by Saudi officials.

The Saudi minister urged Congress to wait for the investigation and the trial to be over in Saudi Arabia, instead of "putting the cart before the horse".

He was a strong critic of the Saudi government.

Trump, however, has been reluctant to speak ill of the crown prince, repeatedly citing a $110 billion arms deal as the reason for maintaining positive relations with Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi, a US resident who wrote for The Washington Post, was killed at a Saudi consulate in Turkey in early October, sparking global outrage.

After initially denying any knowledge of Khashoggi's disappearance, the kingdom has acknowledged that a team killed him inside the diplomatic mission but described it as a rogue operation that did not involve the crown prince.

The fact Khashoggi's body still has not been found is causing "even greater suffering" to his loved ones, the report adds.

The Times, citing unidentified current and former US intelligence officials, said the 2017 conversation was intercepted by USA spy agencies.

The prince suggested that if Khashoggi did not willingly return to Saudi Arabia, he might have to be brought back forcibly, the Times reported.

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"I can't comment on reports based on anonymous sources", al-Jubeir said.

The crown prince's comments to a top aide in 2017 were made well before Khashoggi was killed last October in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Times reported, citing current and former United States and foreign officials knowledgeable about intelligence reports.

Callamard, who was on a trip in Turkey, said that Saudi Arabia also hampered Turkey's efforts to investigate the case at the consulate.

"Two days ago in Washington, D.C. we also evaluated this issue with foreign ministers from other countries", Cavusoglu said.

The final report will be presented to the United Nations human rights council in June.

Riyadh had already taken on a smaller enterprise through a state-owned company to contract Vice to produce documentaries on hitherto reforms in the puritanical Wahabi kingdom, the Wall Street Journal reported.

While US congressmen have been urging the Trump administration to sanction Saudi Arabia, Trump has been defending the crown prince.

But the effort has been mired in the fallout of the Kingdom's October 2 killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was brutally murdered shortly after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

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