Saudi envoy disputes crown prince role in Khashoggi killing

Andrew Cummings
March 3, 2021

Although the Biden administration also stopped billions of dollars in arms sales to Riyadh over its war with Yemen, it is obvious that there is no intention to make the Crown Prince himself the target of United States sanctions.

The document released last Friday echoed what has always been known about the killing: a 15-member Saudi team, including seven members of the prince's elite personal protective team, arrived in Istanbul, Turkey and were at the Saudi consulate where Khashoggi, a USA -based journalist, had gone to the Saudi consulate to pick up documents needed for his wedding.

President Joe Biden's decision to publish a United States intelligence report asserting that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved an operation to "capture or kill" journalist Jamal Khashoggi not only alters the relationship between Washington and Riyadh, but refocuses attention on the Saudi heir and de facto ruler of the kingdom.

Price also called on Saudi Arabia to take further action after last month provisionally releasing Loujain al Hathloul, an advocate for women's right to drive in the ultra-conservative kingdom who was jailed for almost three years.

US President Joe Biden's decision not to sanction Saudi Arabia's crown prince over journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder has frustrated campaigners, underscoring Washington's delicate balancing act as it seeks to avoid a diplomatic rupture.

A Turkish bug planted at the consulate reportedly captured the sound of a forensic saw, operated by a Saudi colonel who was also a forensics expert, dismembering Khashoggi's body within an hour of his entering the building. "It is essential that the crown prince, who ordered the brutal murder of a blameless and innocent person, should be punished without delay".

"If the crown prince is not punished, it will forever. endanger us all and be a stain on our humanity", she added.

"I urge everyone to put their hands on their hearts and campaign to punish the crown prince", Ms Cengiz added.

Speaking to Univision News, Mr Biden confirmed that he had spoken to King Salman on Thursday, and had warned there will be "significant changes" in the country's relationship with the US.

Washington's failure to penalise the crown prince has been criticised by rights groups and others, raising questions about accountability and the Biden administration's pledge to make human rights a foreign policy priority.

While scrutinising human rights, his new administration is expected to work to preserve a valuable security partnership while it moves to reboot nuclear talks with Riyadh's arch-enemy Tehran.

The journalist, who was known for his criticism of the Saudi authorities, went to the consulate in October 2018 in order to obtain papers allowing him to marry Ms Cengiz.

According to Saudi prosecutors, Khashoggi was forcibly restrained after a struggle and injected with a large amount of a drug, resulting in an overdose that led to his death. His remains have never been found.

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