Monday, 17 December, 2018

CIA Concludes Saudi Crown Prince behind Khashoggi Murder

Saudi Arabia seeks death penalty against 5 suspects in Khashoggi killing Khashoggi death: Saudi govt issues charges but exonerate crown prince
Kenny Thornton | 18 November, 2018, 20:52

The Post, citing people familiar with the matter, said the CIA's assessment was based in part on a phone call the crown prince's brother, Prince Khaled bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had with Khashoggi.

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert issued a statement Saturday, asserting that Washington has not yet made any "final conclusion".

"There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr Khashoggi", she added.

As a longer thread of narratives produced by the Saudi government continued to come apart, officials admitted that Khashoggi did in fact die inside the Saudi Consulate, but distanced the crown prince from any connections to his death.

Although Trump and senior officials of his administration have said that Saudi Arabia must be held accountable for its role in the killing, Trump's insistence on economic ties suggests that he is not thinking about taking any major steps. Saudi investigators said Khashoggi was killed only after consulate officials tried to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia on his own volition.

Eleven unidentified people have been charged over the journalist's death and the prosecutor is seeking the death penalty for five of them.

Turkish officials have said the killing was intentional and have been pressuring Saudi Arabia to extradite those responsible to stand trial. While it was unclear whether Prince Khalid knew... The audio from the consulate seemed to indicate that after Khashoggi died, there was conversation about what to do with his remains, Harris said.

Trump spoke with Haspel and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo during his flight to California to tour areas damaged by the wildfires, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters aboard Air Force One. "We should note, too, that the president has been briefed on the CIA's findings and what we understand is that he keeps resisting them because he doesn't have, I guess, the smoking gun". During the phone call, Khalid bin Salman encouraged Khashoggi to go to the consulate in Istanbul. "As president, I have to take a lot of things into consideration".

Trump then went on to hail Saudi Arabia as a "great ally", saying "they give us a lot of jobs and a lot of business and economic development".

US opposes UN resolution upholding Syria's right to Golan
Israel moved settlers into the area and annexed the territory in 1981 in a move not recognised internationally. Israeli officials were quick to praise the decision by the United States.

Speaking to reporters in California Saturday, Trump indicated the report will have details on who is responsible for Khashoggi's killing. Saudi Arabia's top diplomat has said the crown prince had "absolutely" nothing to do with it.

As expected, the Saudi government has denied the CIA's findings.

Khashoggi, 59, was a contributor to The Washington Post and a Saudi Arabian national who frequently wrote editorials critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Khashoggi, a Post columnist, had gone to the consulate to obtain documents necessary to marry his Turkish fiancee.

Shalaan on Thursday said Prince Salman, Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, knew nothing of the operation.

The president also said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has assured him that he wasn't involved in the journalist's death despite news reports saying the Central Intelligence Agency has concluded that the royal ordered the killing. "I want Saudi to stop but I want Iran to stop also".

But it wasn't until after he disappeared, on October 2, that US intelligence agencies began searching archives of intercepted communications and discovered material indicating that the Saudi royal family had been seeking to lure Khashoggi back to Riyadh.

The Times cited officials as saying U.S. and Turkish intelligence so far have not found direct evidence connecting the prince to Khashoggi's killing. Some of the 15 members have served on his security team and traveled in the United States during visits by senior Saudi officials, including the crown prince, according to passport records reviewed by The Washington Post.

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