With no body to bury, Jamal Khashoggi's fiancee battles to get closure

Minnie Murray
February 9, 2019

The sources say that in a conversation intercepted by USA intelligence agencies, the crown prince said he would go after Khashoggi "with a bullet" if he didn't stop criticizing the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in 2017 told a top aide he would use "a bullet" on Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist killed last October, according to a report by The New York Times on Thursday.

In the conversation, Prince Mohammed said that if Khashoggi could not be enticed back to Saudi Arabia, then he should be returned by force.

In the audio, the Crown Prince allegedly said he wanted Khashoggi to return to the kingdom, and complained his work was hurting the leader's image as a reformer.

He said the Crown Prince was "not involved" and blaming him would be crossing "a red line", according to AFP. Lindsey Graham of SC, introduced legislation Friday that would prohibit certain arms sales to Saudi Arabia in response to the killing of Khashoggi and its role in Yemen.

With pressure mounting in Washington and Riyadh, the U.S. president theoretically had until Friday to designate those responsible for the murder of Khashoggi, who was strangled and dismembered by Saudi agents in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Despite the fact that both Turkish and American intelligence officials suspected from the beginning that the Saudi prince was behind the murder, Trump has been reluctant to acknowledge it.

United Nations special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard also said the Turkish investigation had been "seriously undermined" by the Saudis at the consulate and that "woefully inadequate time and access" was given to them which hampered their ability to carry out a professional crime scene investigation.

Last year, the Khashoggi killing proved to be a tipping point for several Congress members, who had already voiced frustration over USA support for the Saudi-UAE coalition involved in the war in Yemen. "We know this was not authorised operation...it is a horrific crime and the whole country is outraged by this crime", he said.

Turkish officials have been frustrated by what they say is a lack of co-operation by Riyadh and have called for an global inquiry.

The Times said intelligence officials think the prince may not literally have meant that he wanted to shoot Khashoggi, but that his remark was a message about murder being among the ways to finally address the journalist's public attacks on the government that the prince found intolerant.

The 59-year-old was a prominent critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

During a press conference in Istanbul for a book on Khashoggi's life, Cengiz left the door open to a meeting with US President Donald Trump if certain conditions were met.

A Saudi public prosecutor's spokesman said late past year that 21 Saudis had been taken into custody over the case, 11 of whom had been indicted and referred to trial.

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