Friday, 22 February, 2019

Evidence shows Khashoggi murder planned, carried out by Saudi officials

Saudis 'seriously undermined' Turkey's Khashoggi inquiry, says UN expert Khashoggi 'victim of brutal killing, perpetrated by Saudi officials' - UN-led inquiry
Leonard Rios | 09 February, 2019, 08:27

The Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud also ordered to re-structure the intelligence authority.

The discovery of the crown prince's statement was made as the National Security Agency and other US spy agencies are reviewing years of intercepted Saudi voice and text communications.

Around that time, Khashoggi had started writing a column for the Washington Post, continuing to criticize the Saudi government.

Salman said he was willing to resort to violence if the US-based Khashoggi - who rankled Saudi royalty with his critiques of the kingdom - didn't back down and return to Saudi Arabia, the report said.

His remains have not been found. Saudi Arabia also is India's fourth largest trade partner (after China, US and Japan).

President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have not backed the evidence of US intelligence that the prince nearly certainly ordered the killing, or at least knew of it.

The Saudi minister urged Congress to wait for the investigation and the trial to be over in Saudi Arabia, instead of "putting the cart before the horse".

Suggesting that Congress was holding Saudi Arabia to a higher standard than other countries, Jubeir said, "You've had so many journalists murdered in the previous year, are they going to legislate sanctions against all countries in which journalists have been killed?"

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A preliminary report says it was 13 days before Turkey was allowed into the consulate where the journalist was killed.

After denying for weeks that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, Saudi Arabia late previous year indicted 11 people in the killing, including members from the crown prince's entourage, and is seeking the death penalty against five of them. It has also called for an worldwide inquiry.

Saudi Arabia has been the driving force behind the Arab Peace Initiative, a proposal it originally introduced in 2002 that would extend diplomatic recognition by all Arab states of Israel in exchange for a pullout to the pre-1967 armistice lines and "just solution" for Palestinian refugees.

Congress had given the Trump administration a deadline of February 8 to submit a report on who bears responsibility for Khashoggi's death and whether Washington would impose sanctions on that person or people.

It is unclear if any of the 17 are on trial.

Two hearings are known to have been held so far in the case, in which prosecutors have asked for the death penalty for five of the 11 charged.

Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, made her assessment yesterday after visiting Turkey.

Trump has publicly said that he is not concerned whether Prince Mohammed was involved, saying the Saudi alliance benefits Washington due to the kingdom's major purchases of weapons and its hostility to regional rival Iran.

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