Turk­ish of­fi­cials have ev­i­dence prov­ing Khashoggi was as­sas­si­nated

Trump says won’t risk $110bn in Saudi arms deals over Khashoggi

Tehran Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Turk­ish of­fi­cials have shared con­tents of video and au­dio record­ings that re­port­edly con­tain ev­i­dence sup­port­ing claims that a Wash­ing­ton Post con­trib­u­tor was mur­dered by the Saudi govern­ment with the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion.

The Wash­ing­ton Post re­ported Thurs­day night that record­ings of Saudi con­sulate of­fi­cials in Turkey ob­tained by Turk­ish in­ves­ti­ga­tors and shared with their U.S. coun­ter­parts de­tail how Ja­mal Khashoggi was tor­tured, killed, and dis­mem­bered by a Saudi Ara­bian se­cu­rity team at the coun­try’s con­sulate in Is­tan­bul.

It is un­clear whether the U.S. has been given di­rect ac­cess to the record­ings, the Post re­ported, but U.S. of­fi­cials con­firmed that the Trump ad­min­is­tra­tion was made aware of their con­tents.

“You can hear his voice and the voices of men speak­ing Ara­bic,” one per­son with knowl­edge of the record­ings told the Post. “You can hear how he was in­ter­ro­gated, tor­tured and then mur­dered.”

“The voice record­ing from in­side the em­bassy lays out what hap­pened to Ja­mal af­ter he en­tered,” the Post’s source added, while a sec­ond of­fi­cial told the news­pa­per that Khashoggi could be heard on the record­ing un­der­go­ing beat­ings from his cap­tors.

Khashoggi’s dis­ap­pear­ance has evolved into a full-fledged in­ter­na­tional diplo­matic cri­sis for the Saudi govern­ment, led by Crown Prince Mo­hammed Bin Sal­man. Sal­man cast him­self as a pro­gres­sive re­former, but the dis­ap­pear­ance and pos­si­ble mur­der of a crit­i­cal voice against his govern­ment has thrown Sal­man’s re­la­tion­ship with for­eign lead­ers and or­ga­ni­za­tions into ques­tion.

The New York Times, The Econ­o­mist and a num­ber of no­table jour­nal­ists an­nounced Thurs­day that they would with­draw from an in­ter­na­tional me­dia event in Riyadh, Saudi Ara­bia, later this month as a re­sult of the Khashoggi’s dis­ap­pear­ance.

Pres­i­dent Trump in­di­cated Thurs­day that his ad­min­is­tra­tion was in­ves­ti­gat­ing Khashoggi’s dis­ap­pear­ance. “I have to find out what hap­pened. I mean, I do have to find out. And we’re prob­a­bly get­ting closer than you might think. But I have to find out what hap­pened,” the pres­i­dent said in an in­ter­view on Fox News.

Ear­lier news noted that Trump was not will­ing to sour re­la­tions with the Saudis over the in­ci­dent.

It is widely be­lieved that Khashoggi was as­sas­si­nated by Saudi op­er­a­tives and his dis­mem­bered body was flown from Turkey to Saudi Ara­bia in two jets.

Trump & Khashoggi

U.S. Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump says he is not will­ing to throw away bil­lions of dol­lars in mil­i­tary deals with Saudi Ara­bia over the sus­pected mur­der of a prom­i­nent Saudi jour­nal­ist at the hands of the Riyadh regime’s death squads in Turkey.

“What good does that do us?” Trump asked, speak­ing to re­porters in the Oval Of­fice on Thurs­day, nearly a week since Ja­mal Khashoggi’s mys­te­ri­ous dis­ap­pear­ance af­ter en­ter­ing the Saudi con­sulate in the Turk­ish city of Is­tan­bul.

“This took place in Turkey and to the best of our knowl­edge, Khashoggi is not a United States ci­ti­zen,” Trump added, brush­ing aside the fact that the jour­nal­ist lived in the U.S.

Con­cerned by Riyadh’s record of con­tin­ued dis­re­gard for the right to free speech, sev­eral Amer­i­can law­mak­ers have asked Trump to pres­sure Riyadh un­til it comes clear about Khashoggi’s fate.

The most di­rect call for pun­ish­ing Riyadh came from Repub­li­can Sen­a­tor Rand Paul, who wrote in a tweet ear­lier in the day that the Saudi killings of dis­si­dents and op­po­si­tion jour­nal­ists won’t stop un­less the U.S. stops “arm­ing and as­sist­ing” Riyadh.

“I would not be in fa­vor of stop­ping a coun­try from spend­ing $110 bil­lion — which is an all-time record — and let­ting Rus­sia have that money and let­ting China have that money,” Trump told re­porters, re­fer­ring to an arms deal he signed with Saudi Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man dur­ing his maiden trip to Saudi Ara­bia last year.

In a sep­a­rate in­ter­view, Trump told Fox News that while he didn’t “like” the in­ci­dent and had as­signed in­ves­ti­ga­tors to get to the bot­tom of the is­sue, re­la­tions with Saudi Ara­bia re­mained “ex­cel­lent.”

“We want to find out what hap­pened,” Trump said. “He went in and it doesn’t look like he came out.”

Saudi’s U.S. en­voy flies back home

The U.S. State Depart­ment an­nounced Thurs­day that Saudi Am­bas­sador to the U.S. Prince Khalid bin Sal­man bin Ab­du­laziz had headed back home to get more in­for­ma­tion about the case.

“I’m told that he’s headed back to his home coun­try, and we ex­pect some in­for­ma­tion when he gets back,” State Depart­ment spokes­woman Heather Nauert told re­porters.

There is wide­spread spec­u­la­tion – spe­cially among Turk­ish of­fi­cials -- that Khashoggi has been as­sas­si­nated by as many as 15 Saudi op­er­a­tives who took him into the con­sulate. The jour­nal­ist’s dis­mem­bered body is also re­ported to have been flown back to Saudi Ara­bia in two jets.

Adding an­other twist to the al­ready com­pli­cated puz­zle, The Wash­ing­ton Post re­ported Tues­day that bin Sal­man had per­son­ally or­dered the as­sas­si­na­tion.

This is while Riyadh had de­nied be­ing be­hind Khashoggi’s dis­ap­pear­ance. How­ever, it has so far failed to pro­vide any ev­i­dence to back its claims.

On Wed­nes­day, the lead­ers of the Se­nate For­eign Re­la­tions Com­mit­tee asked Trump in a bi­par­ti­san let­ter to in­ves­ti­gate whether “the high­est rank­ing of­fi­cials in the Govern­ment of Saudi Ara­bia” were re­spon­si­ble for pos­si­ble crimes in Khashoggi’s case.

U.S. Green Party leader and for­mer pres­i­den­tial can­di­date Jill Stein also called on Trump to cut ties with Riyadh.

How­ever, the U.S. pres­i­dent has shown no real in­ter­est in tan­gling with the Saudis.

On the con­trary, the Amer­i­can pres­i­dent has proudly boasted that his deal­ings with Saudis help the regime to stay afloat while cre­at­ing jobs back home.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Iran

© PressReader. All rights reserved.