Saudi Arabia's top diplomat said Saturday that the global outcry and media focus on the killing of a Saudi journalist earlier this month has become "hysterical" as he urged the public to wait for the results of an investigation before ascribing blame to the kingdom's top leadership, the AP reports. Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist critical of Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed by Saudi agents at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. "This issue has become fairly hysterical," Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir said. "I think people have assigned blame to Saudi Arabia with such certainty before the investigation is complete." Some of those implicated in Khashoggi's killing are close to Prince Mohammed, who is the kingdom's heir apparent.
His condemnation of the killing as "heinous" and "painful" has so far failed to ease suspicions that such a high-level operation could have been carried out without his knowledge. Al-Jubeir addressed the mounting skepticism around the crown prince's alleged involvement. He was speaking in response to questions from Western journalists at an annual conference of international officials, including US Defense Secretary James Mattis, in Bahrain. "We have made clear that we are going to have a full and transparent investigation, the results of which will be released," he said, adding that the kingdom has also put in place mechanisms to ensure this does not happen again. "We know that people exceeded their authority and we know that we're investigating them," he said. (Meanwhile, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's request for Khashoggi's son has been granted.)