Fury as Saudi Arabia admits to Jamal Khashoggi's killing in consulate

Lester Mason
October 20, 2018

There were few surprises when Saudi Arabia finally admitted what most of the world already believed: Jamal Khashoggi, the missing dissident journalist, had indeed been killed at its Istanbul consulate.

In a statement, Saudi public prosecutor added that Khashoggi was killed after fighting with people who met him in the consulate. A person with knowledge of the matter said Khashoggi died after he was placed in a chokehold after the dispute became physical. Turkish officials have said, anonymously, that Khashoggi was murdered in the consulate, by a 15-man team.

Based on press reporting, I'm asking for Congress to open an investigation of whether any US Intelligence was shared with Saudi Arabia that led to political persecution or killing of #Khashoggi, ' he posted.

The kingdom also sacked deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri and royal court media advisor Saud al-Qahtani, both top aides to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman who has faced mounting pressure over the Khashoggi affair.

Kushner does have close ties to the Saudis and its crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, but there has been no evidence that he has any involvement with the suspected murder of Khashoggi.

Not so, US Republican Senator, Lindsey Graham, who wrote: "to say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement".

However, a CNN reporter clarified that her sources mentioned that Khashoggi had died after he was put in a "choke-hold" during interrogation in the Saudi consulate.

Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the United States should pursue sanctions against Saudis involved in Khashoggi's death under a U.S. law named after Sergei Magnitsky, the anti-corruption Russian accountant who died in custody.

The disappearance of Khashoggi, a USA resident and Washington Post columnist, strained relations between Saudi Arabia and Western allies.

US President Donald Trump said on Friday that consequences would "have to be very severe" if it turned out that Saudi Arabia was responsible for Khashoggi's death, adding that it was still "a little bit early" to draw conclusions and that he found the explanation of Khashoggi's death credible.

In an early rebuke to Riyadh, senior officials from several governments, including U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, executives from major companies, and worldwide media commentators withdrew from a high-profile investment conference slated for later this month.

The U.S. Congress is controlled by Trump's fellow Republicans, some of whom have called for tough action against Saudi Arabia. It has also spooked foreign investors who would be key to the prince's grand plans to overhaul his country's economy to wean it from oil.

And will the US government believe this explanation of the chain of events, which raises more questions and looks like an attempt to separate the Saudi royals from this crime? Raises more questions. Makes no sense. "We need an global investigation and relentless pressure on Saudi Arabia from the Trump administration, if we ever hope to get to the truth".

In Istanbul, Turkish prosecutors investigating Khashoggi's disappearance questioned Turkish employees of the Saudi consulate on Friday, widening the hunt for clues in a case straining Riyadh's alliance with Western powers.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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