Turkey issues arrest warrants for Saudi aides
by Rachel Lynn Aldrich
Posted 12/05/18, 11:10 am
Turkish officials said Wednesday they are seeking the arrest of two former aides to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Questions about the October killing continue despite efforts by the Saudi Arabian government to dispel suspicions that the crown prince was involved. A Turkish court approved arrest warrants for former royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani and former deputy intelligence chief Ahmed al-Assiri, two former aides to the crown prince who were dismissed in the aftermath of Khashoggi’s death, Turkey’s official Anadolu news agency reported Wednesday. Turkey has sought to extradite 18 suspects, including 15 members of the alleged assassin team.
U.S. senators who were briefed by CIA Director Gina Haspel on the killing Tuesday said they are convinced the crown prince was involved. Sen. Bob Corker, R-Tenn., said he believes if the crown prince were put on trial, a jury would find him guilty in “about 30 minutes.” And Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said as long as the crown prince is calling the shots in Saudi Arabia he cannot support continued arms sales to the kingdom.
The United States has sanctioned Saudi officials accused in the killing, but the White House said it will take no further action. The Trump administration stresses that Saudi Arabia is an important ally and has urged lawmakers not to seek any additional punishment. The Senate is currently considering a resolution to withdraw U.S. support from Saudi Arabia in the war in Yemen. UN human rights chief Michelle Bachelet said an international probe is needed into Khashoggi’s death but noted that her office doesn’t have the mandate to conduct a criminal investigation.
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