Angela Merkel to halt Saudi arms sales after Jamal Khashoggi's death

Darnell Taylor
October 22, 2018

The new Saudi narrative is that Khashoggi was murdered in what Riyadh insists was a rogue operation. "And we are determined to punish those who are responsible for this murder", he said in the interview.

Meanwhile, five Turkish employees of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul gave statements as witnesses under the investigation, a judicial source said Monday.

Yeni Safak reported last week that Saudi officials cut off Khashoggi's fingers and then decapitated him at the consulate as his fiancée waited outside.

The World Association of Newspapers and News Publishers (WAN-IFRA) and the World Editors Forum (WEF) issued the call for action in a statement on Friday, shortly after Saudi State Television confirmed that Mr. Khashoggi died after an altercation inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

"He extended his condolences to the family of the slain journalist". "Unfortunately, a huge and grave mistake was made and I assure them that those responsible will be held accountable for this".

Trump has repeatedly said over the last week that he opposes any effort to impede more than $100 billion in USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia, but that he would consider sanctions on the kingdom.

The state-run broadcaster TRT later also reported that a man who entered the consulate building was seen leaving the building in Khashoggi's clothes.

Turkish police on October 22 found an abandoned vehicle bearing a diplomatic plate in a private Istanbul parking lot, matching a auto seen outside Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul where Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi had disappeared on October 2.

"Nothing can justify this killing and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms", Germany, Britain and France said in their joint statement.

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Trump initially said he believed the Saudi account, but on Saturday he said he still does not know where Khashoggi's body is. If the supply gap created by disruption in Libya, Nigeria, Venezuela - as well as USA sanctions against Iran - were to grow as large as 3 million barrels a day, Saudi Arabia would need to tap its oil reserves, he said.

Reflecting global scepticism over its account, a senior Saudi government official has laid out a new version that in key respects contradicts previous explanations.

The surveillance video shows Madani leaving the consulate building wearing what appeared to be the dead journalist's jacket, gray shirt, and trousers.

Turkish investiagtors have for days been scouring the consulate, the consul-general's house and woodland areas on the city's outskirts for Khashoggi's remains. Turkish sources say authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting Khashoggi's murder. However, pro-government newspapers have been leaking information about Khashoggi's killing, apparently with the help of Turkish security forces. "All of this needs to be explained in all its details", Erdogan said.

Germany and Saudi Arabia only recently reinstated their ambassadors in September after Germany criticised the Saudi government for what it viewed as the country attempting to interfere in Lebanese affairs. King Salman, 82, has handed the day-to-day running of Saudi Arabia to him.

Trump said: "We'd like to find out where it is and what happened". But it was a big first step, it was a good first step. Khashoggi's columns criticizing the crown prince went out in Arabic to his 1.6 million Twitter followers.

The king also ordered a restructuring of the intelligence service, to be led by Prince Mohammed, suggesting the prince still retained wide-ranging authority.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan said Sunday he would reveal the "truth" about the Khashoggi case on Tuesday while Turkish officials vowed to pursue the case after Saudi Arabia's admission of guilt.

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