Turkey seeks arrest of Saudi prince’s aides over Khashoggi murder


While the Trump administration has repeatedly distinguished Khashoggi's murder and the war in Yemen as separate issues, lawmakers are tying both together as a showcase of how blank-check support for Saudi Arabia erodes USA moral standing.

It's among several measures being considered after a closed Central Intelligence Agency briefing on Capitol Hill. USA intelligence officials have said that the murder was carried out by agents of the Saudi government and ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

After the meeting, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters that MBS is "complicit" in the murder.

The resolution says the Senate believes Mohammed bin Salman "was in control of security forces" during the killing and has "a high level of confidence" that the crown prince was "complicit" in the murder, based on "evidence and analysis made available".

The office of Istanbul's prosecutor on Wednesday issued an arrest warrant for two Saudi officials for their alleged links to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the kingdom's consulate in Turkey.

In the Khasoggi case, Trump has repeatedly avoided rebuking Saudi Arabia, pointing to the economic benefits of US arms sales to Saudi Arabia and Riyadh's role in preventing a spike in oil prices.

Blunt told reporters at the time that the House was unlikley to move on the resolution, and he didn't think a Senate debate on Yemen would be particularly helpful in encouraging the peace process along.

Corker suggested that President Donald Trump had condoned the murder of a journalist by refusing to condemn the Saudi crown prince.

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US President Donald Trump, Prince Mohammed's most vocal backer , did not have time for a one-on-one meeting. They also have a record of the prince talking about "making arrangements" to deal with Khashoggi from 2017.

The crown prince ordered and monitored the killing, Senator Bob Corker said.

"The global community seems to doubt Saudi Arabia's commitment to prosecute this heinous crime", the official said, adding that by extraditing all suspects to Turkey, "Saudi authorities could address those concerns".

Senators had wanted a briefing from Haspel about the CIA's assessment that bin-Salman was behind the killing but the Trump administration had sent instead secretaries of state and defence Mike Pompeo and James Mattis to bring them.

Riyadh has since detained 21 people over the murder. "I'm not going to blow past this", he said. You'd have to be "willfully blind" to not conclude Mohammed was responsible, he said.

Both officials took the position that there was not enough evidence to tie the killing to the crown prince. He was not in Haspel's briefing, which was attended by a select number of committee chairs and top-ranking Democrats.

Three GOP lawmakers have voiced their own conclusions since a separate classified briefing on Tuesday.

Illinois Sen. Richard Durbin said the briefing with Haspel "clearly went in to an evaluation of the intelligence" and was much more informative than the session with Mattis and Pompeo.