Ar­rest war­rant names Saudi of­fi­cials in Khashoggi killing

Global Times - - WORLD -

Is­tan­bul’s chief prose­cu­tor has filed war­rants for the ar­rest of a top aide to Saudi Ara­bia’s de facto ruler and the deputy head of its for­eign in­tel­li­gence on sus­pi­cion of plan­ning the killing of Ja­mal Khashoggi, two Turk­ish of­fi­cials said on Wed­nes­day.

The prose­cu­tor’s of­fice has con­cluded there is “strong sus­pi­cion” that Saud al-Qah­tani and Gen­eral Ahmed al-Asiri, both re­moved from their po­si­tions in Oc­to­ber, were among the plan­ners of Khashoggi’s Oc­to­ber 2 killing at the Saudi con­sulate in Is­tan­bul, the of­fi­cials said.

The move came a day af­ter se­nior US se­na­tors said they were more cer­tain than ever that Saudi Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man was re­spon­si­ble for the killing, cit­ing a CIA brief­ing. The UN hu­man rights chief on Wed­nes­day called for an in­ter­na­tional in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Turk­ish Pres­i­dent Tayyip Er­do­gan has pushed to keep in­ter­na­tional at­ten­tion on the mur­der – the or­der for which he says came from the high­est lev­els of the Saudi govern­ment – even as US Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump has said Wash­ing­ton should not take ac­tion that would un­der­mine its re­la­tion­ship with the king­dom.

“The prose­cu­tion’s move to is­sue ar­rest war­rants for Asiri and Qah­tani re­flects the view that the Saudi author­i­ties won’t take for­mal ac­tion against those in­di­vid­u­als,” one of the Turk­ish of­fi­cials said.

“The in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity seems to doubt Saudi Ara­bia’s com­mit­ment to pros­e­cute this heinous crime. By ex­tra­dit­ing all sus­pects to Tur­key, where Ja­mal Khashoggi was killed and dis­mem­bered, the Saudi author­i­ties could ad­dress those con­cerns,” the of­fi­cial said.

Er­do­gan has said the or­der for Khashoggi’s killing prob­a­bly did not come from King Sal­man, putting the spot­light in­stead on Sal­man’s heir and de facto ruler Prince Mo­hammed.

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