Saturday, 23 February, 2019

Saudi named in report on Khashoggi murder becomes UAE envoy

Melinda Barton | 12 February, 2019, 03:40

"America is not covering up for a murder", he said, adding that the United States would take more action to hold accountable all those responsible for his death. It alleged USA intelligence agencies intercepted a 2017 conversation between Aldakhil and Mohammed bin Salman in which the crown prince threatened to kill Khashoggi if he did not stop criticizing the Saudi government and return to the kingdom.

A year before Mr Khashoggi was murdered on Oct 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Prince Mohammed told Mr Aldakhil that he'd use that bullet if Mr Khashoggi didn't return to the kingdom and stop criticising the government from his perch in the U.S., the New York Times reported on Thursday.

Citing unidentified current and former USA intelligence officials, it said the 2017 conversation was intercepted by US spy agencies.

The security team of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrived in Pakistan on Monday ahead of his scheduled visit to the country.

Chris Murphy, Connecticut Democrat and a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said sanctions against Saudi Arabia are "probably the most appropriate step" after Mr. Trump skipped a congressional deadline Friday for delivering a report on who's responsible for the slaying of Khashoggi. "America should never descend to this level of moral bankruptcy". "We are working diligently on that".

Some Democrats and Republicans, however, maintain the sanctions, including a ban on travel to the US, are insufficient. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., introduced legislation Friday that would prohibit certain arms sales to Saudi Arabia in response to the killing of Khashoggi and the Saudis' role in Yemen. "That's what the law says".

"Congress doesn't have to wait for the president to fulfill his duty", Mr. Murphy said on CNN's "State of the Union".

The Minister was reported to have said that murder was carried out by the officials "acting outside their scope of authority" and that 11 people have been charged with the crime. He said imposing sanctions now would be "putting the cart before the horse".