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Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed's brother released from prison

05 November 2018

The two sons of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi have joined his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, in asking Saudi Arabia to facilitate the return of their father's body in order to perform a traditional burial.

Salah, 35, and Abdullah, 33, broke their silence a month after their father disappeared at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in an interview with CNN on Sunday, describing how hard the last few weeks had been for the family and paying tribute to a man they called "courageous, generous and very brave".

He specified that he had already discussed it with the Saudi authorities, and that he hoped that he would soon be able to bury his father.

The official said Turkey believes that two members of the team "came to Turkey for the sole goal of covering up evidence" before Turkish police were allowed to search the Saudi Consulate, where Khashoggi was killed on October 2 after he entered to collect a document he needed to marry his Turkish fiancee.

The two individuals carried out clean-up operations at the consulate and the consul's residence in Istanbul until October 17 and left the country three days later, he said.

It is alleged that the powerful heir to the throne must have at a minimum been aware of the plan to kill Khashoggi, who had become increasingly critical of the Saudi royal family since moving to the U.S. in self-imposed exile in 2017.

Speaking to CNN on Sunday, Salah Khashoggi said: "The King has stressed that everybody will be brought to justice".

The murder has placed strain on Saudi Arabia's relationship with the United States and other western countries and has tarnished the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the kingdom's de facto ruler.

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The country's official narrative of what happened to Khashoggi has shifted several times since he went missing.

But global outcry over the murder of Mr Khashoggi last month put Softbank's close relationship with Saudi Arabia in focus.

More than a month on from his death, Khashoggi's body has still not been found.

So far 18 men have been arrested by Saudi authorities in connection with the death.

He was released last January. Turkey wants the suspects extradited but Saudi Arabia has maintained they will be prosecuted nationally.

Turkish media have pointed the finger at powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and analysts have said Ankara is keen to have the heir sidelined from the nexus of power in Riyadh.

Khashoggi had been there to obtain a document certifying he divorced his ex-wife.

In an editorial published in The Washington Post Friday, Erdogan said it came from "the highest levels" of the Saudi government, while he did "not believe for a second" that Saudi's King Salman had ordered the crime.

Saudi billionaire Prince Alwaleed's brother released from prison