Turkey seeks arrest of two Saudi crown prince allies over Khashoggi murder

Minnie Murray
December 7, 2018

As The Daily Beast points out, Stewart's comments are similar to ones Trump made last month when speaking to reporters.

And a Saudi embassy spokesperson tweeted Tuesday: "At no time did HRH (His Royal Highness) the Crown Prince correspond with any Saudi officials in any government entity on harming Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen".

"The judgment I've reached was not driven by financial considerations", Lester said in an interview on Thursday. Graham, Corker and other lawmakers came out of the meeting even more convinced of their opposition to the crown prince.

"This is conduct that none of us in America would approve of in any way", Shelby said.

"If he were in front of a jury, he would be convicted of murder in about 30 minutes", Corker said. He said Wednesday he can't imagine the USA having a normal relationship with a Saudi Arabia run by the crown prince.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in early October. Members of that chamber are scheduled to receive a briefing from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on December 13, according to a House aide.

Trump has said the Central Intelligence Agency findings on the crown prince were not conclusive.

On November 20, he said: "It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event - maybe he did and maybe he didn't".

US actor Sean Penn is said to be working on a documentary about the slaying of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The CIA has evidence that the crown prince exchanged 11 messages with Qahtani, who allegedly oversaw the murder, just before and after it took place, according to USA media, including The Wall Street Journal.

"The prosecution's move to issue arrest warrants for Asiri and Qahtani reflects the view that the Saudi authorities won't take formal action against those individuals", Reuters quoted one Turkish official as saying on December 5.

Senator Bob Menendez, a New Jersey Democrat, echoed those views.

"That was not good, unacceptable, and something has to be done about it", he said.

A Yemen war powers resolution sponsored by Bernie Sanders, Mike Lee, and Chris Murphy could come to the floor as soon as next week, and its sponsors are seeking an agreement to avoid a potential quagmire that could ensue if senators are left to their own devices without determining rules for which amendments can be offered. Chris Murphy, a Democrat Connecticut who co-sponsored a bipartisan resolution calling for an end to the USA role in Yemen.

The murder has damaged Riyadh's worldwide reputation and Western countries including the US, France and Canada have placed sanctions on almost 20 Saudi nationals. "And so, there's been no change in our policy with regard to Saudi Arabia that is informed our military-to-military relationship to date".

But the debate could become a virtual trial over Prince Mohammed's responsibility for Khashoggi's murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and Trump's effort to downplay it. Senators could add amendments to further punish the kingdom.

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