Saudi calls, ‘body double’ after killing

Kenny Grant
October 22, 2018

U.S. Treasury Secretary Stephen Mnuchin on Sunday called Saudi Arabia's admission a "good first step but not enough", while the leaders of Germany, France and Britain have demanded more information about how the Washington Post columnist was killed after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to pick up a document for his upcoming marriage. He adds Saudi officials do not know the whereabouts of Khashoggi's remains.

The kingdom acknowledged early Saturday that Khashoggi died in a brawl in its consulate, but did not give any explanation on the cause of his death.

The kingdom has fired five top officials and arrested 18 others in an investigation into the killing - a move that has widely been viewed as an attempt to cover up the Crown Prince's role in the murder.

Turkish police have named 15 men, including several of Prince Mohammed's personal employees and an Australia-trained, bone-saw wielding Saudi pathologist, who allegedly made up a "hit squad" to kill Khashoggi. Prosecutors are seeking statements from a total of 45 employees, CNN Turk said.

The journalist has relatives still living in Saudi Arabia and three children who hold U.S. citizenship.

Germany and Saudi Arabia only returned their ambassadors in September after 10 months of frosty relations following criticism from Berlin of what it said was Saudi interference in Lebanese affairs.

"WAN-IFRA calls on the Turkish authorities to urgently provide proof of its claims of Saudi state involvement in the murder of Mr. Khashoggi, as well as increased worldwide pressure for a full, verifiable accounting from the Saudi monarchy as to the events leading up to his death", the statement read.

Britain was outflanked by Germany yesterday after Angela Merkel called for a halt to arms sales to Saudi Arabia over the death of Jamal Khashoggi.

Trump initially said he believed the Saudi account, but on Saturday he said he still does not know where Khashoggi's body is. He also said Prince Mohammed was not responsible.

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This, it added, led to Khashoggi's death.

In an interview broadcast Sunday, Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said Canada was considering cancelling a multi-billion-dollar defence contract with Riyadh.

Khashoggi, who had been living in self-imposed exile in the United States, was reported missing hours after he entered the Saudi consulate to obtain paperwork that would allow him to marry his Turkish fiancée.

Turkish sources say the authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting Khashoggi's murder inside the consulate.

Turkey earlier said 15 Saudis who travelled to Istanbul were involved in Khashoggi's disappearance.

Speaking to reporters in Berlin on Sunday, Chancellor Angela Merkel announced the arms freeze and said she will continue working with worldwide allies to coordinate their response to Khashoggi's murder inside a Saudi consulate.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that he will reveal details about the Turkish investigation of the alleged murder of the journalist on Tuesday.

"That is unacceptable in any government", al-Jubeir said on Sunday.

But even if the Saudis keep Trump on their side, they could face a reckoning from the U.S. Congress, where Republicans and Democrats alike have expressed outrage over the killing. They said the "hypotheses" proposed so far in the Saudi investigation need to be backed by facts to be considered credible.

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