Saudi Crown Prince: Khashoggi's Killing Is 'Heinous Crime That Can't Be Justified'

Erdogan and Bin Salman have discussed what they said was 'the need for joint efforts to shed light on all aspects of the killing'

Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, attends the Future Investment Initiative conference, in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Tuesday, October 23, 2018.
Amr Nabil/AP

Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Wednesday said the case of the slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was "painful," a "heinous crime that cannot be justified" and "justice will prevail." 

The crown prince, known as MBS, said all culprits will be punished, and Saudi Arabia and Turkey will work together "to reach results." 

MBS was speaking on the second day of the three-day Saudi investment conference in Riyadh dubbed "Davos in the desert". The event has been marred by the withdrawal of global business leaders and top bankers amid widespread concern about the fate of a Khashoggi.

LIVE: Saudi Crown Prince take part in plenary session of Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh

Earlier, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and MBS discussed what they said were "the need for joint efforts to shed light on all aspects of the killing" of Khashoggi, according to Turkish sources.

The officials said the two, in a telephone call on Wednesday, also discuss steps that need to be taken for the investigation. They said the Saudi prince had requested the conversation. The officials provided the information on condition of anonymity, in line with government regulations.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a U.S. resident, disappeared three weeks ago after a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Riyadh, which initially denied knowledge of his whereabouts, has since said he died in a "fistfight". 

Turkish officials say a 15-man Saudi team, that includes at least one member from the prince's entourage, killed the writer at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Saudi Arabia later blamed Khashoggi's death on a "rogue operation". The journalist was a critic of the crown prince, the kingdom's de facto ruler. Erdogan has said Turkey will not let the killers escape justice, not matter how highly placed they were. 

Turkey's president kept up pressure on Saudi Arabia on Wednesday as the kingdom's powerful crown prince was to address an international investment summit in Riyadh, his first such remarks since global outcry over the killing earlier this month of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan reportedly called Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman just before he arrived with other Arab leaders at the Future Investment Initiative summit in the Saudi capital. The event, which debuted last year with global business titans in attendance, has been overshadowed by Khashoggi's slaying and the international outrage over it.

Erdogan focused in again Wednesday on Khashoggi's death.
"We are determined not to allow the murder to be covered up and for those responsible — from the person who gave the order to those who executed it — not to escape justice," he said in the capital, Ankara.

The announcement of the call came just before Prince Mohammed, Bahrain's crown prince and Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri walked into the Riyadh summit.