Istanbul prosecutor seeks arrest of Saudi officials over Khashoggi killing

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The Saudi ambassador to the United States Khalid bin Salman, brother of the powerful crown prince, has returned to Washington after leaving the USA capital in the wake of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, an official said Wednesday.

Michelle Bachelet made the comments at a news conference Wednesday timed for the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, alluding to similar calls from outside experts linked to the United Nations human rights office.

Istanbul's top prosecutor issued arrest warrants for two close allies of Saudi Arabia's crown prince on Wednesday, in connection with the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan has pushed to keep global attention on the murder - the order for which he says came from the highest levels of the Saudi government - even as U.S. President Donald Trump has said Washington should not take action that would undermine its relationship with the kingdom.

"The worldwide community seems to doubt Saudi Arabia's commitment to prosecute this heinous crime". Saudi authorities say the agents who killed Khashoggi exceeded their authority. Both had strong ties with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but were removed from their positions in October.

In one image shared by state news agency Anadolu, two-time Oscar victor Penn was seen outside the mission where the Washington Post contributor was strangled before he was cut up into pieces by a 15-man Saudi team especially sent to Istanbul for the task.

According to the Istanbul prosecutor, Khashoggi was strangled to death after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get documents for marrying his fiancee, and his body was then dismembered and destroyed.

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Trump and some of his fellow Republicans have argued that Washington should not take action that would risk its relationship with Riyadh, which is viewed as an important counterweight to Iran in the Middle East.

The agency said Penn was also seen outside the consul-general's nearby residence.

But two key senators from Trump's own Republican party said Tuesday that a briefing by the CIA's director had strengthened their conviction that Prince Mohammed directed the murder.

Despite the investigation into the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul still being ongoing, some filmmakers have already decided to make documentaries about it.

Asiri, however, was not on the list of 17 people sanctioned by Washington.

The chief prosecutor's office in Istanbul filed an application on Tuesday to obtain the warrants for Ahmad al-Assiri and Saud al-Qahtani, described in court documents as being "among the planners" of Khashoggi's grisly killing.