Amid sanctions calls, Saudis deny prince had role in slaying


WASHINGTON (AP) - A top Saudi official on Friday insisted his country's crown prince had no role in the October slaying of a Washington Post columnist, saying the trial of the suspects and the ongoing investigation would show it was a "rogue operation" with no official backing.

Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir spoke to reporters as legislation was introduced in Congress to block some arms sales to the kingdom over the killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi and the widespread deaths of civilians in the war in Yemen.

"We know that the crown prince did not order this. We know that this was a rogue operation," he said. "We came out and we acknowledged it. It was committed by officials of the Saudi government acting outside their authority."

The New York Times reported Thursday that U.S. intelligence agencies intercepted a 2017 conversation in which Crown Prince Mohamed bin Salman told a top aide that he would use "a bullet" on Khashoggi if he did not return home to Saudi Arabia. He who wrote columns critical of the Saudi government while living in self-imposed exile in Virginia.

U.S. intelligence agencies had previously concluded that the crown prince must have at least had knowledge of the plot, leading some members of Congress to call for him to step down as the de facto leader of the country.

Al-Jubeir bristled at the notion that outsiders would criticize the government.

"Our leadership is a red line," he said. "Our leadership leads the country. I think for anyone to think they can dictate what we should do or what our leadership should do is preposterous."

The killing, he said repeatedly, was a "terrible crime" and those responsible will be held accountable.

Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get a document he needed for his upcoming marriage while his fiancee waited outside. He was never seen alive again.

After denying for several weeks that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, Saudi Arabia indicted 11 people in the killing, including several officials close to the crown prince, and is seeking the death penalty against five of them.

The killing has strained relations between the U.S. and Saudi Arabia. In Congress, criticism over the kingdom's handling of the war in Yemen had already been building for months.

Lawmakers, including Democratic Sen. Bob Menendez of New Jersey and Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, introduced legislation Friday that would prohibit certain arms sales to Saudi Arabia in response to the killing of Khashoggi and its role in Yemen.

It was introduced on the date that the Trump administration was supposed to inform Congress on its determination of whether the crown prince was personally responsible for the killing of Khashoggi.

"Seeing as the Trump Administration has no intention of insisting on full accountability for Mr. Khashoggi's murderers, it is time for Congress to step in and impose real consequences to fundamentally re-examine our relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and with the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen," Sen. Menendez said in a statement introducing the legislation.


Associated Press writer Ben Fox contributed to this report.


More Related News

Saudi prince sees "useful returns" from expected $100 billion investment in India
Saudi prince sees "useful returns" from expected $100 billion investment in India

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said on Wednesday he saw investment opportunities of more than $100 billion in India over the next two years as he began his first official visit amid tensions between arch foes India and Pakistan. India rolled out the red carpet for the crown prince

Saudi prince sees
Saudi prince sees 'useful returns' from expected $100 billion investment in India

The crown prince this week was given a lavish welcome in Pakistan where the two sides signed memoranda of understanding valued at about $20 billion to help prop up Pakistan's economy. India will forcefully raise the issue of cross-border terrorism during the talks with the Saudi delegation later in the day, officials said. Pakistan says it only gives diplomatic support to the Kashmiri people in their struggle for self-determination.

Flynn pushed to share nuclear tech with Saudis, report says
Flynn pushed to share nuclear tech with Saudis, report says
  • World
  • 2019-02-19 18:58:10Z

WASHINGTON (AP) - Senior White House officials pushed a project to share nuclear power technology with Saudi Arabia despite the objections of ethics and national security officials, according to a new congressional report citing whistleblowers within the administration.

Former Trump adviser Stone apologizes to judge after photo post
Former Trump adviser Stone apologizes to judge after photo post
  • US
  • 2019-02-19 04:09:35Z

President Donald Trump's former adviser Roger Stone apologized on Monday after posting on Instagram a photo of the judge overseeing his trial for allegedly making false statements to Congress, obstruction and witness tampering. The photo of U.S. District Judge Amy Berman Jackson, which included a symbol that appeared to represent crosshairs, was later taken down.

Sixteen states sue Trump over border wall emergency
Sixteen states sue Trump over border wall emergency

Sixteen US states sued President Donald Trump's administration Monday over his decision to declare a national emergency to fund a wall on the southern border with Mexico, saying the move violated the constitution. The lawsuit, filed in a federal court in California, said the president's order was contrary to the Presentment Clause that outlines legislative procedures and the Appropriations Clause, which defines Congress as the final arbiter of public funds. The move had been previously announced by Xavier Becerra the attorney general of California who said his state and others had legal standing because they risked losing moneys intended for military projects, disaster assistance and...

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked with *

Cancel reply


Top News: Europe

Hit "Like"
Don't miss any important news
Thanks, you don't need to show me this anymore.