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The U.S. sanctions were announced a few hours after Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor said the death penalty was being sought for five out of 11 suspects charged in Khashoggi's murder, as the kingdom tries to contain its biggest political crisis in a generation.

Those sanctioned include Saud al-Qahtani, a former top aide to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, as well as the Saudi Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi.

Qahtani was sacked last month along with deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri - in a move that has widely been seen as an attempt to scapegoat the officials and cover up Prince Mohammed's role in Khashoggi's murder.

The agents killed Khashoggi after "negotiations" for the journalist's return to the kingdom failed, Shaalan said.

Saudi officials describe the killing as a rogue operation carried out by Saudi agents who exceeded their authority.

The killing of Khashoggi, a palace insider who turned critic, has provoked a global outcry and tarnished the reputation of the 33-year-old young prince, whose efforts to cast himself as a bolder reformer and trusted USA ally have often chafed against his policies overseas.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has charged that the orders to kill Khashoggi came from "the highest levels of the Saudi government", but he never went as far as to name anyone.

Although the new Saudi explanation of the killing, as well as the associated charges, appeared to contradict previous statements from both the Saudi government and senior Trump administration officials, the twin announcements in Riyadh and Washington may be part of an ongoing effort in both capitals to put the case behind them.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman won support on Tuesday from U.S. National Security Adviser John Bolton, who said he did not think recordings of the killing shared by Turkey implicated the country's de facto ruler.

Also on Thursday, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister said the crown prince had "absolutely" nothing to do with Khashoggi's death. Prosecutors said this specialist was working without the direct knowledge of his boss.

Turkey has called for an global investigation into the murder, and has previously hinted that the Saudi authorities were not keen on genuinely cooperating with their investigation.

The Turkish government has been calling for Gulen's extradition back to Turkey, and sources have told NBC News that some Trump Administration officials are hoping that expelling Gulen might persuade Erdogan to ease the pressure on Saudi Arabia.

"Those who gave the command as well as instigators should also be clarified and this process should not be covered up", Mr Cavusoglu said, adding that Turkey would "shed light on this murder in all its aspects".

Saudi Arabia plans to execute five men who have been accused of the controversial murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile overseas for almost a year before he was killed by Saudi agents at the consulate on October 2. "This process can not be closed down in this way".

The audio also features Khashoggi telling his killers "I'm suffocating" and "Take this bag off my head right before he died, a journalist with Turkey's state-run Daily Sabah newspaper told Al Jazeera".

He was murdered during an October 2 visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he was retrieving documents for his upcoming wedding.

Turkish officials have complained repeatedly about Saudi Arabia's refusal to identify the collaborator and said they suspect that such a person does not exist.


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