Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said the death of Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi was “painful” for Saudis and those responsible will be brought to court.
"The crime was really painful to all Saudis," the crown prince said Wednesday during the Future Investment Initiative conference in Riyadh, per Bloomberg. "We will present the perpetrators to the court."
The crown prince also characterized Khashoggi's death as a "heinous crime that cannot be justified."
Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 to obtain paperwork for his upcoming wedding. Saudi Arabia confessed on Friday that Khashoggi was killed as a result of an interrogation that “developed in a negative way, leading to a fistfight.”
Turkish officials have suggested the Saudi government was responsible for ordering a hit on Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and U.S. resident who has been critical of the Saudi government. However, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al-Jubeir has denied that the crown prince knew anything about Khashoggi’s death.
Meanwhile, the Turkish government claims to have audio that indicates Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a 15-member Saudi team in the consulate.
In a speech Tuesday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the killing was "planned" and demanded that Saudi Arabia release all the names and ranks of those involved.
According to NBC, the Saudi government had sought to persuade Khashoggi to return to Saudi Arabia for at least a year. He had been presented several job offers, but had rejected them due to concern that he would be imprisoned or worse.
Saudi Arabia is also conducting an investigation into Khashoggi’s death, and five Saudi officials have been fired. Eighteen others have been arrested.