Published: Wed, December 05, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

United States senators indict Saudi crown prince in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi

United States senators indict Saudi crown prince in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi

CIA Director Gina Haspel will brief US lawmakers Tuesday on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker.

A Saudi government critic who was living in self-imposed exile in the US, Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

"I've read in the media that the Central Intelligence Agency has said with high confidence that the crown prince was involved with killing Khashoggi". If he was in front of a jury he would have a unanimous verdict in 30 minutes.

Joining Corker in his denunciations was Senator Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.), who will call for a Congressional resolution citing the Crown Prince as complicit in Khashoggi's murder. "There's a smoking saw", Graham said.

The CIA claimed Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, ordered the assassination of journalist Khashoggi in Istanbul last month.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis traveled to Capitol Hill last week without Haspel for a closed-door briefing on Yemen for Senate lawmakers at which they emphasized the strategic importance of the US-Saudi relationship and defended the administration's response to Khashoggi's murder.

Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'
Sen. Bob Corker says a jury would find the Saudi crown prince 'in about 30 minutes.'

"Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally", Graham tweeted after Tuesday's briefing.

The Trump administration has argued there is no "smoking gun" tying the prince to the murder, but Corker said Haspel presented the senators with information they hadn't heard before. 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.

"All evidence points to that all this leads back to the crown prince", said, Alaska Republican Senator Richard Shelby, calling the murder a "reprehensible conduct".

Graham voted for a resolution last week that would cancel USA support for Saudi Arabia's involvement in the civil war in Yemen. However, the CIA's findings have not been made public and President Trump has equivocated over who was to blame. The Senate voted last week to debate the US assistance, and additional Senate action is expected in the coming days. Trump has touted Saudi arms deals worth billions of dollars to the US and recently thanked Saudi Arabia for plunging oil prices.

"If we abandon Saudi Arabia, it would be a bad mistake", Trump said on November 20, when he released a lengthy statement.

"The views that I had before have only solidified", said senator Bob Menendez, the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee. He said he had been briefed about the highly indicting Central Intelligence Agency investigation comprising audio evidence but would not to listen to the audio because "it's a suffering tape, it's a bad tape". "Intelligence is only given to a few people within our system", Paul said Tuesday.

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