RIYADH - Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman has issued directives to set up a ministerial committee under the chairmanship of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, deputy premier and minister of defense, to restructure the Kingdom's intelligence agency and «define its powers accurately», Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said.

The directives were issued based on a recommendation of the Crown Prince, who in his capacity as the President of the Council of Political and Security Affairs, submitted to King Salman the recommendation on the urgent need to restructure the General Intelligence Presidency and update its regulations.

The proposal also called for the determination of its authority, defining the procedures and powers while also setting up its administrative and hierarchical sequence in order to ensure its proper functioning and determination of responsibilities.

The King ordered that the ministerial committee would be chaired by the Crown Prince and president of the Council of Political and Security Affairs. The members of the Council are: Prince Abdulaziz Bin Saud Bin Naif, minister of interior; Dr. Musaed Al-Aiban; Dr. Ibrahim Al-Assaf; minister of foreign affairs; president of General Intelligence and president of the State Security. The committee shall submit the results of its work within one month of its formation.

The Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman issued three royal orders on Friday night, Saudi Press Agency said.

The first royal order relieved Ahmed Bin Hassan Bin Muhammad Assiri from his post as deputy president of General Intelligence.

The second order relieved Saud Bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani from his post as adviser at the Royal Court.

And, the third royal order terminated the services of a number of officers working in General Intelligence.

They included Assistant Chief of General Intelligence for Intelligence Affairs Air Force Maj. Gen. Muhammad Bin Saleh Al-Rumaih; Assistant Chief of General Intelligence for Human Resources Maj. Gen. Abdullah Bin Khalifa Al-Shayea; and Director of the General Directorate of Security and Protection at the Presidency for General Intelligence Maj. Gen. Rashad Bin Hamed Al-Mehmadi. – SPA

Saudi Arabia takes steps to ascertain truth in Khashoggi case: The case of the disappearance of the citizen Jamal Bin Ahmed Khashoggi was taken notice of at the highest levels by the Saudi authorities, and due to the circumstances surrounding his disappearance the Kingdom took the necessary steps to unearth the truth and began by dispatching a security team to Turkey on Oct. 6 to investigate and cooperate with counterparts in Turkey, an official source said in a statement, according to the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) Friday night.

It was followed by the formation of a joint security team between the Kingdom and Turkey, with permission given to the Turkish security authorities to enter the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and the residence of the Consul, due to the Kingdom's keenness to clarify all the facts. The measures followed Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques King Salman’s directives to the Public Prosecutor of Saudi Arabia, No. 5709 dated 3/2/1440H, to conduct investigations into the case.

The Public Prosecutor has already investigated a number of suspects on the basis of information provided by the Turkish authorities to the Joint Security Team to determine whether any of them had any information or had any knowledge of what had happened, or whether information was conveyed to the security authorities that indicated that the citizen Jamal Khashoggi had left the consulate.

In implementation of the directives of the leadership on the need to clearly establish the truth and declare it transparently, the preliminary investigations conducted by the Public Prosecution showed that the suspects had traveled to Istanbul to meet with the citizen Jamal Khashoggi, as there were indications of the possibility of the latter returning to the country.

The results of the preliminary investigations also revealed the suspects’ discussions with the citizen Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul did not go as planned and led to a fight and a quarrel between some of them and Khashoggi. The brawl led to Khashoggi’s death and their attempt to conceal and cover what had happened.

The source added that while the investigations are still going on into the case with 18 Saudi detainees, the Kingdom expresses its deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place and stresses the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the public, to hold all those involved accountable and bring them to justice by referring them to the competent courts in Saudi Arabia.

The preliminary investigations carried out by the Public Prosecution into the disappearance of the citizen Jamal Khashoggi revealed that the latter had died during an altercation in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

«The discussions between Jamal Khashoggi and those he met at the Kingdom's consulate in Istanbul led to a quarrel that devolved into a fistfight, leading to his death,» the Saudi Press Agency (SPA) said, citing the public prosecutor.

The Kingdom announced that 18 people, who are all Saudi nationals, had been arrested in the ongoing probe. The Public Prosecutor, in his statement, stated that the investigations will delve into all the facts and hold all those involved in this case accountable and bring them to justice. — SPA