BERLIN: Germany has strongly denounced the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and called on Saudi Arabia to hold those responsible to account.
"We condemn this act in the strongest terms," Chancellor Angela Merkel and Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said in a joint statement issued on Saturday. Both the leader said they "condemned the crime in the sharpest possible manner," adding that they expected "transparency from Saudi Arabia about the circumstances of (Khashoggi's) death and the background.
Merkel and Maas said that "those responsible must be held to account". They said "the information provided about the sequence of events in the consulate in Istanbul isn't sufficient".
German Chancellor Angela Merkel is demanding further clarity over the death of writer Jamal Khashoggi, after Saudi officials acknowledged Saturday that the Washington Post columnist was killed in a "fistfight" in its Istanbul consulate.
During a party conference in the eastern state of Thuringia on Saturday, Merkel referred briefly to Saudi Arabia and "the terrible events" surrounding Khashoggi's slaying on October 2 saying "still nothing has been cleared up". She added that "of course we are demanding that they be cleared up".
Germany has joined other nations in calling for a credible investigation into Khashoggi's death. Finally admitting that the writer had been slain at the Saudi diplomatic post, Riyadh had claimed Khashoggi died in a "fist fight" in the consulate.
Saudi authorities said that 18 Saudi suspects were in custody and intelligence officials had been fired.
The admission of Khashoggi's murder followed more than two weeks of denials by the kingdom of any involvement in his disappearance.