Saudi Arabia 'curtailed' Jamal Khashoggi murder probe

09 February, 2019, 08:29 | Author: Sue Mclaughlin
  • US President Donald Trump waves as he departs the White House in Washington DC

The Saudi crown prince reportedly told an adviser in 2017 that he would use "a bullet" against journalist Jamal Khashoggi - a year before the outspoken critic of the kingdom was killed and dismembered.

The White House decision comes a day after a New York Times report revealed MBS told a top aide in a conversation in 2017 that he would use "a bullet" on Jamal Khashoggi, according to a conversation intercepted by United States intelligence agencies.

The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi had been a columnist, reported on October 10 that Mohammed had personally ordered an effort to lure the journalist back to Saudi Arabia.

Riyadh, which initially denied knowledge of Khashoggi's disappearance before offering contradictory explanations, has steadfastly insisted the prince was not involved in the killing.

Saudi Arabia has previously denied Turkey's extradition request for the 11 suspects.

Turkey's efforts to reveal the truth behind the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi avoided a cover-up of the incident by the kingdom, Turkish Justice Minister Abdulhamit Gül has said.

"That's nobody's business except Saudi Arabia".

Special UN rapporteur Agnes Callamard said on Thursday after a visit to Turkey that the killing of Khashoggi, who had written critical pieces on Saudi Arabia in the Washington Post, had been "planned and perpetrated" by Saudi officials. "I think for anyone to think they can dictate what we should do or what our leadership should do is preposterous".

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"It was committed by officials of the Saudi government acting outside their authority".

The "complete lack of transparency" from Saudi officials on the investigation into the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is deeply concerning and detrimental to their credibility, President Erdogan's aide said.

He confirmed that Prince Mohammed's former aide, Saud Al Qahtani, had been dismissed but said he did not know the whereabouts of another former aide Maher Mutreb. However, it is still unknown if the authorities had implicated him in the murder.

The killing has strained relations between the US and Saudi Arabia.

According to the United States newspaper, a confidential report prepared for the Saudi public prosecutor by Kroll, a private USA security firm, found that none of the WhatsApp messages exchanged between the crown prince and his top aide on the day Khashoggi was killed concerned the journalist or his murder.

She had "major concerns" about the fairness of the trial proceedings and had sought an official visit to the kingdom.

She said the next phase of her investigation will take her to Washington to speak with officials from countries that have "taken a deep interest in the case" and have been in touch with Saudi and Turkish officials.

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