Published: Fri, December 07, 2018
World News | By Sandy Lane

Turkey seeks arrest of Saudi officials over Khashoggi

Turkey seeks arrest of Saudi officials over Khashoggi

A bipartisan group of United States senators in Congress have introduced a resolution that formally holds responsible Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as well as his role in Saudi atrocities committed during the war in Yemen.

He parroted the line from his ruling family's government that Khashoggi, whose articles for the Washington Post were critical of the crown prince, left the consulate unharmed.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, Bob Corker (R-TN) was also briefed and said, "I have zero question in my mind that the crown prince, MBS, ordered the killing, monitored the killing, knew exactly what was happening, planned it in advance".

The chief prosecutor's office in Istanbul filed an application on Tuesday to obtain the warrants for Ahmad al-Assiri and Saud al-Qahtani, described in court documents as being "among the planners" of Khashoggi's grisly killing.

The Istanbul prosecutor in charge of the Turkish investigation said in late October that Khashoggi, a former Saudi insider turned critic, was strangled then his body was cut into pieces.

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Turkey has been seeking to extradite 18 suspects, including 15 members of an alleged assassination squad accused of murdering and dismembering the writer.

"The U.S. presence in the area is important and while lots of things are happening in a war zone that you wouldn't want to happen worse things would happen if you had no presence there", he said.

Saudi Arabia has said the prince had no prior knowledge of the murder.

Now senators who believe even more strongly that Mohammed helped coordinate Khashoggi's killing will explore legislative options to punish Saudi Arabia, including bills or amendments that could withdraw US support of Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, impose additional sanctions, or end weapons sales to the country.

Following a Central Intelligence Agency briefing on Monday, top US senators said they are even more convinced that the prince was involved in the killing.

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The Post reported on 16 November that the CIA's conclusion that the crown prince, known as MBS, ordered Khashoggi's murder came after it examined several pieces of intelligence, including an intercepted phone call between Khalid and the journalist.

Sen. Rand Paul, meanwhile, went to Twitter to voice his opinion, smashing the caps lock to say "ENOUGH!" in regards to Saudi Arabia's behavior.

"There's not a smoking gun".

The Saudis have charged 11 people but deny the crown prince was involved. "Guilty", Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tennessee), who now chairs the Foreign Relations committee, said after the briefing. The vote last week allowed the Senate to debate the measure, which could happen as soon as next week, but senators are still in negotiations on whether to amend it and what it should say. Lindsey Graham and Tennessee Sen.

Both officials took the position that there was not enough evidence to tie the killing to the crown prince.

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