The Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Turkey, May 6, 2018image rights
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Jamal Khashoggi had gone to Istanbul to receive a marriage document

The Trump administration has refused to respond to a request from Congress to present a report that identifies who killed the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Senators wrote in October that the murder should be investigated and that the White House should provide more information.

A government official said the president has the right to refuse to act.

Khashoggi was killed in October last year after joining the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

He was a strong critic of the Saudi government. His body was reportedly dismembered and still not found.

US intelligence has reportedly said that such an operation would have required the approval of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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On Saturday, Baroness Helena Kennedy, a member of a UN team of international experts who visited Turkey to investigate the murder, told the BBC that the murder was planned at the highest level.

However, Saudi officials insist that he was murdered by a "rogue" team of Saudi agents who are not acting on the prince's orders.

A government statement states that Trump "refuses in its sole discretion to respond to requests from the Congressional Committee, if appropriate."

Democratic senators, however, told the New York Times that the president had violated the so-called Magnitsky Act, which required a response within 120 days at the request of the chairmen of the Senate committee. This deadline had passed on Friday.

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has written to Senate leaders in writing on how they are acting against individuals.

However, the documents do not reveal who was responsible for Khashoggi's death, as required by the senators.

The US has sanctioned 17 Saudi officials, including Saud al-Qahtani, a former Crown Prince's aide who allegedly was "part of the planning and conduct of the operation" leading to Khashoggi's assassination.

But Mr. Trump was criticized by senators because he did not directly condemn the Crown Prince.