Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

Saudi Arabia CRISIS: Turkey demands Khashoggi suspects' extradition as new warrants issued

Saudi Arabia CRISIS: Turkey demands Khashoggi suspects' extradition as new warrants issued

On Tuesday, two senators from Mr Trump's Republican Party said a Central Intelligence Agency briefing had strengthened their belief the Saudi prince ordered the killing in Istanbul on 2 October.

Despite Donald Trump's desire to maintain close ties to Saudi Arabia, several of his fellow Republicans have joined Democrats in blaming the crown prince for Khashoggi's death and backing legislation to respond by ending United States support for the Saudi-led war effort in Yemen, imposing new sanctions and stopping weapons sales. The senators write, "based on evidence and analysis made available to this institution, has a high level of confidence that Mohammed bin Salman was complicit in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi".

The journalist was murdered by a team of agents allegedly linked to the crown prince after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and reportedly dismembered with a bone saw.

The first vote would be on a motion to proceed to the joint resolution that seeks to stop US support for the Saudi-led military intervention in Yemen.

But Graham said he would not support the joint resolution that would cut off military support to the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen.

The Saudi prince is facing continuing pressure over the October 2 killing of the journalist inside the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul. If he was in front of a jury he would be convicted in 30 minutes.

Another senator, Bob Corker, told reporters, using the crown prince's initials: "I have zero question on my mind that the crown prince MBS ordered the killing".

"Not everything needs to be secret", the Connecticut Democrat tweeted.

Saudi authorities have denied Turkey's requests and said the suspects will be tried in the kingdom.

"It is a zero chance, zero, that this happened in such an organized fashion without the crown prince", Graham told The Washington Post. Secretary of Defense James Mattis was emphatic last week, telling reporters, "We have no smoking gun that the Crown Prince was involved".

He also advocated suspending arms sales to Saudi Arabia until those responsible for Khashoggi's murder are held to account.

The administration has sanctioned 17 Saudis expected to involved, but lawmakers are demanding much more serious consequences.

Haspel delivered a closed-door briefing on the Khashoggi murder to Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Appropriations committees on Tuesday morning.

Riyadh has since detained 21 people over the murder.

Three GOP lawmakers have voiced their own conclusions since a separate classified briefing on Tuesday. "I know there are going to be a lot of efforts to try to remove the underlying language and replace it with something weaker".

"She didn't tell them anything that (Mattis and Pompeo didn't say)", the Texas Republican said, "so any senator who wants the information has had access to it".

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