Saudis undermined inquiry into death of Jamal Khashoggi, UN finds

Modi with Mohhamed bin Salman

Mr. Khashoggi's killing by a team of Saudi operatives on October 2 provoked widespread revulsion and tarnished the image of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, previously admired in the West for pushing deep changes including tax reform, infrastructure projects and allowing women to drive.

The killing of Khashoggi did result in an worldwide uproar and criticism of Riyadh.

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Khashoggi's killing by a team of Saudi operatives on October 2 provoked widespread revulsion and tarnished the image of the crown prince, who had been admired in the West for pushing deep changes including tax reform, infrastructure projects and allowing women to drive.

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He declined to disclose the names of those standing trial in Saudi Arabia for the killing, but said sessions had been attended by representatives of the five members of the UN Security Council.

Saudi officials initially insisted that Khashoggi left the building unharmed, but acknowledged weeks later that the journalist was killed.

"The murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the sheer brutality of it has brought irreversible tragedy to his loved ones", said Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions.

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.

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The Trump administration claims it has no compelling evidence of the direct involvement of the young and powerful Saudi leader, although the senators - briefed in private by intelligence leaders - stressed they remained convinced that the prince known as "MBS" was responsible.

President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo have not backed the evidence of US intelligence that the prince nearly certainly ordered the killing, or at least knew of it. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Republican Sen. Menendez said in a statement introducing the legislation.

She added that Khashoggi's murder was the "gravest violation" of the most fundamental of all rights, the right to life. "I fully realize we have to deal with bad actors and imperfect situations on the global stage".

Al-Jubeir bristled at the notion that outsiders would criticize the government. Accusing the crown prince, he said, "is like saying, when Oliver North was engaged in Iran-contra, did Ronald Reagan know?"

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In an interview with Turkey's state broadcaster on Sunday, Erdogan said both the crown prince and Saudi's Adel al-Jubeir had lied about the case and pressure from Turkey had led to Jubeir being removed from his post as foreign minister in December. I think the view is, they wait until the results come out, and where there is guilt, you can take action.

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