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Top Saudi official asks Congress to withhold judgment on Khashoggi

10 February, 2019, 08:40 | Author: Ted Wilson
  • Saudis 'seriously undermined' Turkey's Khashoggi inquiry, says UN expert

Callamard said she was still waiting for a response from Saudi authorities to a request she made three weeks ago for an invitation to visit the kingdom.

In addition, Cengiz noted that Saudi King Salman "has a conscience" and will support the probe in this case. "It was committed by officials of the Saudi government acting outside their authority".

A bipartisan group of United States senators sent a letter to the president in October calling for an investigation and a decision on sanctions under the global Magnitsky Human Rights Act. The brutal killing, described by Turkish and USA officials as an elaborate plot - has drawn an global outcry about press freedom and Saudi government tactics to quell criticism.

The comments were intercepted by American intelligence agencies, the newspaper reported.

"There is no change in the European Union position, we continue to call for a thorough and credible investigation in line with everything that we have said in the Khashoggi case over the past months", Kocijancic said, asked to give an update on the bloc's position in light of the new United Nations report.

In a conversation with a second aide, he said that he wanted Khashoggi enticed back to Saudi Arabia from exile or returned by force. His remains have still not been found. They have blamed the murder on a group of rogue Saudi officials. Jubeir explained that the case is handled by the judiciary, where the first session of the trial of 11 people was held at the beginning of this year, adding that the second trial was open to the public and humanitarian organizations.

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Al-Jubeir was meeting with members of Congress as some lawmakers seek to block arms sales to Saudi Arabia because of what they believe is involvement by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the slaying of Khashoggi, who wrote columns critical of the Saudi government while living in self-imposed exile in Virginia.

Saudi Arabia has refused to extradite its citizens to Turkey after the country issued arrest warrants for several Saudi officials.

U.S. intelligence analysts have interpreted the "bullet" comment metaphorically, meaning the crown prince did not necessarily mean to have Khashoggi shot, but they do think it showed his intent to have the journalist killed if he did not return to the kingdom, the Times said.

A Saudi official said Kroll Associates, a USA security firm hired by the kingdom, had reviewed 11 WhatsApp messages exchanged between the prince and al-Qahtani on the day of the killing and found no reference to Khashoggi.

The official said the White House would continue to consult with Congress on the murder of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist.

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