US sanctions 17 Saudis for alleged role in Khashoggi killing

Nov 16, 2018, 01:30
US sanctions 17 Saudis for alleged role in Khashoggi killing

Turkey on November 15 said the Saudi statement over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was "insufficient" and insisted that the killing was "premeditated".

"These individuals who targeted and brutally killed a journalist who resided and worked in the United States must face consequences for their actions", Mnuchin said in a statement.

Among the differences between the USA and Saudi statements issued Thursday, Treasury's account appeared to indicate a planned killing, while the Saudi prosecutor indicated the order to kill Khashoggi was made on the spot by one of the agents who had been sent to bring him back to Saudi Arabia.

According to the prosecutor, another official, Saud al-Qahtani, a close adviser to the crown prince, was also involved in planning Khashoggi's repatriation.

Saudi Arabia has requested Turkey sign a cooperation deal on a probe into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, killed and dismembered in his country's Istanbul consulate, the prosecution said Thursday.

Cavusoglu made the comment in reaction to an announcement by Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor who detailed Riyadh's actions on the case and demanded death penalty for five defendants.

The brutal death of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who had been critical of the crown prince, has sent shock waves around the world and led analysts and officials to believe a sensitive operation of this magnitude could not have been carried out without the prince's knowledge.

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"They say this person was killed because he resisted, whereas this murder was premeditated", he told reporters.

Weeks later, following global outcry, the kingdom eventually admitted that Khashoggi had been killed, with the kingdom's public prosecutor later announcing that the strike was believed to be "premeditated".

Khashoggi's body was then dismembered and taken out of the building, he said.

The Turks kept up the pressure yesterday, saying the Saudi explanation over Khashoggi's murder was "insufficient".

It went on to assert that the public prosecutor had requested the death penalty for five individuals who had been implicated in ordering and committing the murder "and for appropriate sentences [to be handed down against] the remaining indicted individuals". The New York Times reported just this week that Turkish intelligence had collected a phone recording that may link Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The source said the consul general was taken out of the room before Khashoggi wasinjected with an unknown drug.

After weeks of denials and under growing worldwide pressure, Saudi Arabia finally admitted that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate in a premeditated murder.

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Saudi-US relations have been rocked amid the crisis over Khashoggi's killing, as politicians from both major US parties quickly denounced Saudi Arabia and called for Washington to rethink its relationship with Riyadh altogether.

Khashoggi vanished on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork he needed to marry his Turkish fiancée.

Salah Khashoggi, the journalist's eldest son, announced a mourning period during which the family would accept condolences in the Saudi city of Jiddah.

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 prosecutor also revealed that the Royal Court advisor, Saud Qahtani, is banned from traveling pending the investigation into the murder.

Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile overseas for almost a year.

Eleven out of the 21 people held have been charged with murder, Mr Shaalan said.

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