Chancellor Angela Merkel slams Saudi Arabia Khashoggi explanation as 'insufficient'

Lester Mason
October 21, 2018

The General Secretariat of the Arab League welcomed the Royal Orders issued by Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud, and the statement issued by the Saudi Attorney General regarding the case of the late journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Saudi King Salman has also reportedly ordered the formation of a ministerial committee, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed, which will have one month to release a report on the facts of the case, according to state TV.

"It's not possible for the Saudi administration to wiggle itself out of this crime, if it's confirmed", said Numan Kurtulmus, deputy head of the Justice and Development Party, adding that Turkey would share "conclusive evidence and findings" after the probe is completed.

After two weeks of denials, Riyadh admitted that Khashoggi, a prominent critic of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed inside its Istanbul consulate, but has remained mute on the whereabouts of his body. According to official figures, the German government has authorized arms exports worth 254 million ($291 million) euros to Saudi Arabia since March.

If verified, the recording would make it hard for the United States to accept the Saudi version that Khashoggi's death was effectively an accident.

Congressman Jim Costa said that he is appalled by the reports that Saudi officials were involved in the death of Khashoggi.

In a statement Friday night, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the USA will closely follow global investigations into Khashoggi's death and will advocate for justice that is "timely, transparent and in accordance with all due process". President Donald Trump on Friday called the announcement a "good first step" and said he would work with Congress on a US response.

He said he would speak with the crown prince.

By not reviewing those materials, the top USA diplomat is not in an obvious position to refute or confirm the Saudi account, said diplomats familiar with the situation.

Trump has warned there would be "very severe" consequences if Saudi Arabia is behind the disappearance of the journalist, but Pompeo said, "I'm not going to get into what those responses might be".

The remarks differ from earlier comments in which he urged presumption of innocence for Riyadh and said he found the kingdom's account credible and a "good first step".

Some U.S. lawmakers were unconvinced by the Saudi account.

Those responsible then tried to cover it up, a Saudi statement said, but there is no mention of what happened to the journalist's body.

"The United States must not be complicit in this cover-up".

That is why audio and video evidence unnamed Turkish officials claim they have of the killing were critical to establishing accountability, Krieg said.

It's believed Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside his country's embassy in Turkey, causing a diplomatic crisis.

Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham, a close Trump ally, tweeted, "To say that I am skeptical of the new Saudi narrative about Mr. Khashoggi is an understatement".

After talks in Copenhagen, Danish Prime Minister Lars Lokke Rasmussen said, "We haven't been told the full truth, and we must insist on getting that", Bloomberg reports.

Other reports by Iphone Fresh

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