U.S. sanctions 17 Saudis allegedly implicated in Khashoggi murder

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman attends the Future Investment Initiative conference in the Saudi capital Riyadh

Officials in several countries have said it is unlikely Khashoggi could have been killed without the knowledge of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia's de facto leader.

Turkish officials have cast doubt on whether Saudi Arabia was willing to genuinely cooperate with authorities on the murder of Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Former Saudi deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Assiri was the highest-level official behind the killing, the prosecutor said.

Among the differences between the US and Saudi statements issued Thursday, Treasury's account appeared to indicate a planned killing, while the Saudi prosecutor indicated the order to kill Khashoggi was made on the spot by one of the agents who had been sent to bring him back to Saudi Arabia.

Al-Jubeir said the Khashoggi case has become a legal and humanitarian issue and is being dealt with by the Kingdoms' judiciary, which is effective and independent. One Turkish official told Reuters that officials who heard the recordings, which include Khashoggi's killing and conversations leading up to the operation, were horrified but their countries had done nothing.

The U.S. Treasury announced Magnitsky Act sanctions on 17 Saudi officials today in respose to their role in Khashoggi's murder.

Post Publisher and CEO Fred Ryan says the actions announced by the Saudi and US governments so far do not resolve questions about the fate of the writer who was killed October 2 inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Later, government representatives said the journalist died during a fist fight, and then they claimed he was actually killed after being placed in a chokehold.

The US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, made this promise during a phone conversation with the Saudi crown prince, Prince Mohammed bin Salman, on Sunday, November 11.

The deputy chief of intelligence ordered that Khashoggi be brought back to the kingdom, Shaalan said. Instead, the prosecutor said it has generated "a composite sketch of the collaborator".

Turkey has called for an worldwide investigation into the murder, and has previously hinted that the Saudi authorities were not keen on genuinely cooperating with their investigation.

Turkey says it has recordings related to the killing which it shared with Western allies.

The Treasury announcement followed the release of a statement in Riyadh saying 11 unnamed Saudi citizens had been indicted in the crime, which took place on October 2 when Khashoggi visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

That stance was reiterated by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir, who said the prince had absolutely nothing to do with the case and accused Turkey of ignoring Saudi requests for information.

Mevlut Cavusoglu also insists that the suspects detained in Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi's killing should be put on trial in Turkey.

Why it matters: The Trump administration has seemingly sought to try to take minimal, mostly symbolic actions in response to Khashoggi's murder, while trying to do enough to keep Congress from forcing its hand. "This process can not be closed down in this way", he added.

Jamal Khashoggi, a former Saudi government advisor, had been living in the United States since past year, fearing possible arrest.

First, Riyadh said that Khashoggi had left its consulate in Istanbul alive.

Cavusoglu also repeated Erdogan's call that the suspects in the case should be tried in Turkey, not Saudi Arabia.

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