US to seek new answers from Saudis on Khashoggi murder
will seek to get new answers from Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) regarding the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said yesterday.
Speaking at a press conference with his Qatari counterpart Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman bin Jassim Al Thani in Doha, Pompeo described Khashoggi’s murder as “unacceptable.”
He said the U.S. will continue to communicate with bin Salman to ensure holding those responsible for Khashoggi’s
murder to accountability. Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a group of Saudi operatives shortly after he entered the country’s consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018.
The kingdom initially denied any role in Khashoggi’s disappearance before acknowledging that he was murdered inside the consulate but passed the buck to rogue agents, while insisting that the crown prince had no prior knowledge of the matter, an explanation far from convincing for many.
Previously, the kingdom’s attorney general sought the death penalty for five of the 11 defendants charged with the murder of Khashoggi as their high-profile trial opened in Riyadh.
All 11 accused were present with their lawyers at the opening hearing in the capital, according to a statement by Attorney General Saud al-Mujeb carried by the official Saudi Press Agency. The statement added that the prosecution demanded death sentences for five suspects, adding that the interrogation of the suspects continues. Ankara has used every means available to bring those responsible to justice, maintaining international pressure.
Turkish officials previously said they shared evidence with Saudi Arabia and other nations about Khashoggi’s killing and repeatedly called for the suspects to be extradited to Turkey, where the crime was committed. Turkey has also repeatedly said it would demand a probe into the incident from the U.N.
Despite more than 100 days having passed since the murder took place, Riyadh remains apprehensive about revealing new information regarding the murder.