Khashoggi 'victim of brutal killing, perpetrated by Saudi officials' - UN-led inquiry


United States intelligence analysists reportedly concluded that Prince Mohammed had likely used the phrase a metaphor, expressing his intention to kill the journalists unless he returned to Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who wrote critically about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

The US has imposed sanctions on 17 Saudi officials, including Saud al-Qahtani, a former adviser to the crown prince who it alleged was "part of the planning and execution of the operation" that led to Khashoggi's murder.

The Kingdom "seriously undermined" Turkey's efforts to investigate Mr Khashoggi's murder at its Istanbul consulate, the inquiry found.

The Saudi crown prince reportedly told an adviser in 2017 that he would use "a bullet" against journalist Jamal Khashoggi - a year before the outspoken critic of the kingdom was killed and dismembered.

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While the NSA declined to comment to the New York Times on the matter, Aldakhil called the claims outlined by the newspaper "categorically false".

Khashoggi's murder violated global law and the rules that regulate relations between countries and the status of diplomatic missions, she said.

The investigator said anyone with further knowledge or intelligence about the murder should come forward and share it before the release of a report in June which will make recommendations on accountability.

With pressure mounting in Washington and Riyadh, the U.S. president theoretically had until Friday to designate those responsible for the murder of Khashoggi, who was strangled and dismembered by Saudi agents in the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

It was "unconscionable" that Saudi authorities continued to fail to disclose the whereabouts of Mr. Khashoggi's remains "after having admitted that he met his death within their custody in their consular premises", she added.

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After denying the killing for two weeks Riyadh finally described it as a "rogue" operation and arrested a number of senior Saudi officials.

Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get a document he needed for his upcoming marriage while his fiancee waited outside. The reporter said that he does not know whether President Donald Trump has been presented with this evidence. "I believe the United Nations report would have an global impact".

While US intelligence officials stressed that MBS may not have meant those words in a literal sense, they said it indicates that the crown prince had expressed a desire to see the Washington Post journalist dead.

"I wish the Congress would take a step back, look at the overall relationship, look at the steps that Saudi Arabia has taken, and let the process play out", he added.

"For anyone to think that they can dictate what we should do, what our leadership should do, is preposterous", al-Jubeir said.

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