Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
People | By Leon Thompson

Central Intelligence Agency director convinces senators of Saudi crown prince's role in Khashoggi murder

Central Intelligence Agency director convinces senators of Saudi crown prince's role in Khashoggi murder

Senator Lindsey Graham, a Republican from SC who has often been a Trump ally, said the only conclusion was that Prince Mohammed, known as MBS, is responsible for the killing.

Trump ally and fellow Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said the "crazy" crown prince was "complicit in the murder of Mr Khashoggi to the highest level possible".

Graham (R-S.C.) said that the October killing of Khashoggi could not have taken place without MBS knowing about it.

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".

Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Turkey after arriving for routine paperwork.

Saudi authorities have previously said the agents who killed Khashoggi exceeded their authority. "Period. We believe in "freedom of the press" here, and we should be promoting that ideal around the world, not excusing it because it's politically convenient in excusing the blunders of our president". "By extraditing all suspects to Turkey, where Jamal Khashoggi was killed and dismembered, the Saudi authorities could address those concerns", the Turkish official said.

United States senators say they are more certain than ever after a private Central Intelligence Agency briefing that the Saudi crown prince had a role in the murder of a journalist.

"The U.S. presence in the area is important and while lots of things are happening in a war zone that you wouldn't want to happen worse things would happen if you had no presence there", he said. Graham described the evidence as "a smoking saw".

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Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Wednesday that he pressed Saudi Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last week. "You have to be willfully blind" not to see it.

Saudi Arabia has detained 21 people and says it is seeking the death penalty for five.

The administration has sanctioned 17 Saudis expected to involved, but lawmakers are demanding much more serious consequences.

Another senator, Bob Corker, told reporters, using the crown prince's initials: "I have zero question on my mind that the crown prince MBS ordered the killing".

Tuesday's briefing came a week after Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Secretary of Defence James Mattis had told senators that there was no hard evidence MBS was behind the killing and urged senators not to downgrade ties with Saudi Arabia over the incident.

"I think they are tired of him being the only person - they can not play anybody else against him - and that is, I think, one of the reasons that made the United States reaction to the murder greater, because now there is only one person to go to, there is only one address in Riyadh, and that is MBS".

"If our government knows that Saudi leaders were involved in the murder of a U.S. resident, why shouldn't the public know this?" he said. If it advances beyond that, senators have an opportunity to debate and add amendments to the resolution before a final vote.

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