Saturday, February 23, 2019 | ePaper

Republican blasts White House over Khashoggi update failure

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Al Jazeera News :
A senior Republican representative has lashed out at the administration of US President Donald Trump over its failure to provide an update on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Citing a letter received from the Trump administration, House Foreign Affairs Lead Republican Michael McCaul said on Saturday he was "deeply troubled". "Everyone involved in this gruesome crime must be identified and held accountable," McCaul said on Saturday. "I call on the administration to immediately comply with the requirements of the law, and to provide Congress with the information required."
The White House was mandated under a congressional deadline to provide a report by Friday on the killing of Khashoggi. Congresspeople are seeking to determine whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) was behind the murder.
The administration did not meet the deadline, but
    
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo did provide an update to Congress on Saturday, a State Department spokesperson said.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and critic of Saudi Arabia's reform programme under the stewardship of MBS, was killed after entering the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2 last year.
The journalist was hoping to obtain paperwork certifying he had divorced his ex-wife in order to be able to remarry.
A senior administration official told US media that the president maintains his discretion to decline to act on congressional committee requests.
Saudi's foreign ministry cautioned on Friday "against any attempt to link Khashoggi's crime to our leadership".
Adel al-Jubeir, the kingdom's minister of state for foreign affairs, also told reporters that MBS did not have a hand in the journalist's murder.
"We know that this was not an authorised operation. There was no order given to conduct this operation," Jubeir said on Friday.  Turkish and Western intelligence have either hinted at or directly blamed the Saudi heir to the throne for the killing.  The US has placed sanctions on 17 Saudi nationals allegedly involved in the murder. Over four months after his killing, Khashoggi's remains have not been located.

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