Khashoggi fiancee wants prince punished


The fiancee of slain Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has called for Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to be punished after a US intelligence report found he had approved the killing.

Khashoggi, a US resident who wrote opinion columns for the Washington Post criticising Saudi policies, was killed and dismembered by a team linked to the crown prince in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

A US intelligence report on Friday found the prince had approved the killing, and Washington imposed sanctions on some of those involved – but not Prince Mohammed himself.

The Saudi government, which has denied any involvement by the crown prince, rejected the report’s findings.

“It is essential that the crown prince… should be punished without delay,” Hatice Cengiz said on Twitter.

“If the crown prince is not punished, it will forever signal that the main culprit can get away with murder which will endanger us all and be a stain on our humanity.”

US President Joe Biden’s administration on Friday imposed a visa ban on some Saudis believed involved in the Khashoggi killing and placed sanctions on others that would freeze their US assets and generally bar Americans from dealing with them.

Asked about criticism of Washington for not sanctioning Prince Mohammed directly, Biden said an announcement would be made on Monday, but did not provide details, while a White House official suggested no new steps were expected.

“Starting with the Biden administration, it is vital for all world leaders to ask themselves if they are prepared to shake hands with a person whose culpability as a murderer has been proven,” Cengiz said.

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Jamal Khashoggi: US report expected to blame Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for journalist’s murder | World News


The US government is expected to release a declassified intelligence report that finds the Saudi crown prince responsible for approving the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Three officials familiar with the matter told NBC News that in the report – contributed to mostly by the CIA – an assessment is thought to find Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman likely ordered the killing of the Washington Post columnist.

Mr Khashoggi disappeared in 2018 after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where he is later believed to have been dismembered.

His remains have never been found.

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Mohammed bin Salman previously enjoyed a cosy relationship with Donald Trump

The release of the report, expected later on Thursday, is expected to mark a significant shift in US-Saudi relations, which under Donald Trump’s administration saw the major oil producer given a relaxed ride on human rights issues, its role in the Yemen war, and more.

Mr Trump also rejected calls from politicians and human rights groups to release the then-classified report in 2018 when it was first briefed to Congress.

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He is said to have been keen to keep his Arab ally close amid increasing tensions with Iran – the Saudi’s rival in the region – as well as wanting to promote US arms sales.

Under Joe Biden, however, the new US administration is looking to shift ties to a more traditional approach, starting with the president’s first phone conversation with Saudi King Salman.

On Wednesday, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said Mr Biden would only have communications with the 85-year-old king – another shift away from Mr Trump’s cosy relationship with the crown prince, who is the kingdom’s de facto ruler.

Ms Psaki also confirmed the declassified report on Mr Khashoggi’s killing was being readied for release.

U.S. President Joe Biden delivers a foreign policy address as Vice President Kamala Harris listens during a visit to the State Department in Washington, U.S., February 4, 2021. REUTERS/Tom Brenner
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Joe Biden has pledged to realign US ties with Saudi Arabia

Riyadh has already admitted Mr Khashoggi was killed in a “rogue” extradition operation that went wrong, but has denied involvement from the crown prince, whose policies were often criticised in the writer’s columns.

Five men were eventually sentenced to death for the murder, but their sentences were commuted to 20 years in prison after being forgiven by Mr Khashoggi’s family.

During his 2020 presidential campaign, Mr Biden promised to realign Saudi ties with the US and has already ended offensive arms sales that could be utilised in Yemen.

He has also appointed a special envoy to help diplomatic efforts to bring an end to the Yemeni civil war.

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Jamal Khashoggi: Journalist’s fiancee sues Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman over his killing | World News


The fiancée of murdered journalist Jamal Khashoggi is suing Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman over his “brutal execution”.

Hatice Cengiz, a Turkish national, filed the lawsuit in Washington DC on Tuesday, accusing the Saudi leader of the “brutal and brazen crime” of killing her fiancée after “weeks of planning”.

Ms Cengiz had been planning to marry Mr Khashoggi when he disappeared inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018.

She was waiting outside for him, but he never emerged and officials later ruled he died as a result of a “rogue operation”.

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The lawsuit has been brought by Hatice Cengiz, Mr Khashoggi’s fiancee

Last month, five people were sentenced to 20 years in prison over Mr Khashoggi’s death, but they escaped the death penalty and Mr Bin Salman was not implicated in any way.

Three others were sentenced to lesser jail terms. None of the eight convicted have been identified.

Turkish intelligence officials say the operation was too big for the Saudi leader not to have known about it.

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Ms Cengiz said in a statement on Tuesday: “Jamal believed anything was possible in America and I place my trust in the American civil justice system to obtain a measure of justice and accountability.”

The Saudi-born journalist founded a human rights organisation called Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN) soon before he died.

He was living in exile in the US and had written articles for the Washington Post criticising the Saudi government.

The lawsuit claims that those responsible for Mr Khashoggi’s death “saw his actions in the United States as an existential threat”.

“Defendants resolved to put an end to Mr Khashoggi’s efforts by any means necessary,” it adds.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is pictured while meeting with the Tunisian President during his arrival at the presidential palace in Carthage on the eastern outskirts of the capital Tunis on November 27, 2018. (Photo by FETHI BELAID / AFP)        (Photo credit should read FETHI BELAID/AFP/Getty Images)
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A trial last month saw five people jailed over Mr Khashoggi’s death, but no reference to Mohammed Bin Salman was made

Turkish officials claim that 15 Saudis were waiting inside the consulate in Turkey, where Mr Khashoggi had travelled to pick up documents for his upcoming wedding.

Saudi Arabia deny he was murdered, but his body is believed to have been dismembered and removed from the building.

Intelligence officials had the consulate bugged and recordings appeared to capture Mr Khashoggi’s last words, which were: “Don’t cover my mouth. I have asthma, don’t do it.”



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