Wednesday, 19 December, 2018

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

Gina Haspel Modal Trigger Gina Haspel AFP Getty Images
| 06 December, 2018, 05:37

Turkey's official Anadolu news agency said a court approved arrest warrants for former royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani and former deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri, who are believed to have overseen the team that killed and dismembered Khashoggi at the kingdom's Istanbul consulate in October. Lindsey Graham and Tennessee Sen.

"You have to be wilfully blind" not to conclude the murder was orchestrated by people under Prince Mohammed's command, Graham added, in a swipe at Trump, Mattis and Pompeo.

And Canada's Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told the media Wednesday that while he was at the G20 in Argentina he pushed the Saudi prince on the subject of Khashoggi's killing, saying "we need better answers".

"If the Saudi government is going to be in the hands of this man for a long time to come, I find it very hard to be able to do business, because I think he's insane, I think he is unsafe and he has put the relationship at risk".

But two key senators from Trump's own Republican party said Tuesday that a briefing by the CIA's director had strengthened their conviction that Prince Mohammed directed the murder.

After the hearing, Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters that there is zero chance the crown prince wasn't involved.


After initially denying the murder, Saudi Arabia has acknowledged Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate but blamed his death on a "rogue" operation. The resolution also calls on Riyadh to negotiate with representatives of the Houthi movement in Yemen in an effort to end that country's bloody civil war and subsequent humanitarian crisis.

Co-host Mika Brzezinski pointed to a viral clip of the two foreign leaders exchanging a high-five like old friends at the G20 Summit in Argentina over the weekend.

The U.S. has slapped sanctions on Saudis involved in the murder. Human rights groups say the war is wreaking havoc on the country and subjecting civilians to indiscriminate bombing.

Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said he believes if the crown prince was put on trial, a jury would find him guilty in "about 30 minutes". The vote last week allowed the Senate to debate the measure, which could happen as soon as next week, but senators are still in negotiations on whether to amend it and what it should say. He said finding a compromise will be hard because some lawmakers don't want to tie Yemen to the Khashoggi killing.

It was unclear whether Khalid knew that Khashoggi would be killed, the United States newspaper said, but he made the call at the discretion of his brother, MBS. "Maybe he did and maybe he didn't!" President Trump of the USA described the killing as brutal and vicious. He said he was working with colleagues on how to amend the resolution, and he had not had suggestions from the Trump administration on how it might prefer to proceed.

The South Carolina senator was directly repudiating comments by top Trump administration officials, including Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, who just last week said there was "no smoking gun" implicating the crown prince.

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