Trump says not ready to hear 'suffering tape' of Khashoggi murder

April FrancisNov 21, 2018

Five Saudi officials face the death penalty for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was dismembered inside the kingdom's Istanbul consulate, but Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was not involved, the prosecutor said on Thursday.

This new development contradicts Saudi's statement which has always maintained that Prince Salman has not been involved or even had any knowledge of the operation.

Khashoggi, a columnist for The Washington Post who was critical of the crown prince, was killed after going to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to retrieve documents necessary to marry his Turkish fiancee. The other 14, it said, were "members of an operations team" who had a role in the death.

While the Trump administration on Thursday imposed sanctions on 17 Saudis for their role in Khashoggi's killing, many lawmakers think the United States should take a tougher stance, and the CIA's findings are likely to embolden that view.

"Our action today is an important step in responding to Khashoggi's killing", Pompeo said.

While these sanctions signal a break in traditional U.S. foreign policy, which has often stopped short of placing sanctions on Saudi Arabia or its rulers, Thursday's sanctions may only be the beginning salvo, and further actions may be forthcoming.

The call was reportedly intercepted by USA intelligence. The Saudi government has denied that claim.

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US officials have said Saudi Arabia, a major oil supplier, plays an important part in countering what they see as Iran's malign role in the region, and Trump has repeatedly said he does not want to imperil USA arms sales to the kingdom.

The phone call did not mention the Prince by name, but The New York Times reported that U.S. intelligence officials believe "your boss" was a reference to the young ruler, while Turkish intelligence officers said they thought he was speaking to one of Bin Salman's aides.

"As I review this list, it's clear that it is not comprehensive", Sen. The foreign minister also questioned why Saudi Arabia indicted only 11 out of 18 detained suspects. Tim Kaine, D-Va., referring to Saudi explanations that have changed repeatedly since the killing.

Another Democrat, Sen. Chris Murphy of CT, said he would escalate ongoing efforts to pass legislation, which has garnered some Republican support, to stop all USA arms sales and assistance to the Saudis for use in the Yemen war. Rand Paul, R-Ky., who said on Twitter that "putting sanctions on people who are already in jail means nothing". "Global fallout" Khashoggi's killing has plunged the world's top oil exporter into its worst diplomatic crisis since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks on the United States, in which most of the hijackers were identified as Saudi nationals.

Saudi Arabia and its ally the United Arab Emirates intervened in the conflict against Iranian-backed Huthi rebels in 2015 in support of President Abedrabbo Mansour Hadi.

The Trump administration this week sanctioned individuals for their alleged role in the killing, but the intelligence officials' conclusion bolsters efforts in Congress for a harsher USA response.

The ambassador himself tweeted: "The last contact I had with Mr. Khashoggi was via text on October 26, 2017". Instead, the indictment statement said, he was administered a lethal injection after fighting with the agents.

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