Saudi Public Prosecutor Requests Death Penalty for Suspects Involved in Khashoggi Murder

Khashoggi's killers face public execution

In a related development, Saudi Arabia's foreign minister Adel al-Jubeir held a press conference on Thursday evening in the Saudi capital Riyadh to discuss the findings and judicial rulings issued by the Saudi Public Prosecution in relation to the Khashoggi killing.

The public prosecutor had earlier said he was seeking the death penalty for five out of 11 suspects charged with the murder of Khashoggi.

The Trump administration on Thursday slapped sanctions against 17 Saudis accused of involvement in the killing of US-based journalist Jamal Khashoggi - including top aides to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Meanwhile, the Trump administration has sanctioned 17 people in connection to the killing. The conflict has fueled the world's worst humanitarian disaster, according to the United Nations.

Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland says the Canadian government is "actively considering" using a new law created to target corrupt Russian officials to lay sanctions on Saudi officials involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

"These individuals who targeted and brutally killed a journalist who resided and worked in the United States must face consequences for their actions". He also said the Saudi prosecutor's announcement did not reveal where Khashoggi's remains were taken.

The Treasury Department's release named the suspects as senior Saudi official Saud Al-Qahtani, his subordinate Maher Mutreb, and 14 additional government underlings. The Treasury said in its statement that Mutreb "coordinated and executed" the operation.

Asked if Prince Mohammed played a role in the murder, he said: "He did not have any knowledge".

US President Donald Trump has suggested ultimate responsibility lies with the prince as de facto ruler and has warned of economic sanctions.

Senator Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican, noted that numerous people the US sanctioned are imprisoned and some may be executed.

Saudi prosecutors said the men deemed Khashoggi a threat because of his work as a writer and because he was allegedly backed by groups and countries that are hostile to Saudi Arabia. The adviser believed that Khashoggi had been co-opted by organizations and countries hostile to the kingdom "and his presence overseas represented a danger to national security", the prosecutor said.

Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says the U.S. will continue investigating to determine whether others were also responsible for Khashoggi's death.

The law allows the USA government to sanction human rights offenders overseas, seize their assets and ban them from entering the United States.

"The investigation concluded that the crime was carried out after a physical altercation with the victim where he was forcibly restrained and injected with a large amount of a drug resulting in an overdose that led to his death, may Allah bless his soul", the statement said. Khashoggi, a USA resident and critic of the Saudi regime, went missing after entering the Saudi Arabia consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

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. "They brought the necessary people and tools to kill him and dismember the body in advance".

"Our action today is an important step in responding to Khashoggi's killing", US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

Investors will be watching to see if Saudi Arabia retaliates over the sanctions.

"Where is the body of the murdered Khashoggi?" The Treasury Department also sanctioned the diplomat who was serving as the Saudi consul general in Istanbul at the time of Khashoggi's murder, Mohammed al-Otaibi.



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