Oct. 27 (UPI) -- Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said Saturday the suspects in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi will be tried in Saudi Arabia, not Turkey.
He made the comments during a security summit in Bahrain also attended by U.S. Defense Secretary James Mattis.
Al-Jubeir refused Turkey's request Friday that 18 suspects be extradited. On Oct. 20, Saudi Arabia confirmed Khashoggi died Oct. 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to obtain documents for his planned marriage. The government said he died after getting into a fight, but audio recordings indicated he was tortured and dismembered.
Khashoggi was a Saudi national who moved to the United States in 2017 and became a columnist for The Washington Post. He wrote columns critical of the Saudi government, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Riyadh portrays the incident as a rogue operation.
"The individuals are Saudi nationals, they are detained in Saudi Arabia, the investigation is in Saudi Arabia," al-Jubeir said. "They will be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia."
The United States froze visas for all 18 who were arrested, plus three additional Saudis who belong to the intelligence service, royal court and a government ministry, the U.S. State Department said.
Also speaking at the conference, Mattis said Khashoggi's death undermined Middle East stability.
"With our collective interests in peace and unwavering respect for human rights in mind, the murder of Jamal Khashoggi in a diplomatic facility must concern us all greatly," he said. "Failure of any one nation to adhere to international norms and the rule of law undermines regional stability at a time when it is needed most."