Senators demand Magnitsky Act probe, sanctions on Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi disappearance

Senators demand Magnitsky Act probe, sanctions on Saudi Arabia over Khashoggi disappearance

A bipartisan group of senators are triggering an investigation into the disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi - who went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey last week. A US intelligence source told the New York Times that USA intelligence had intercepted communications of Saudi agents discussing a plot to either capture or kill Khashoggi.

"We can not let this happen, to reporters, to anybody", Trump said. He has said he spoke with the Saudis about what he called a "bad situation", and also said the U.S. was working "very closely" with Turkey.

The reported details, coupled with more-direct comments from Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, appear aimed at gradually pressuring Saudi Arabia to reveal what happened to Khashoggi, while also balancing Ankara's need to maintain the kingdom's investments in Turkey and relations on other issues.

A former United States intelligence official said the details in the intercepts do not indicate any intention to harm Khashoggi.

"Australia is deeply concerned about the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi", Ms Payne said in a statement from Papua New Guinea, where she was travelling.

"We request that you make a determination on the imposition of sanctions pursuant to the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act", they added.

He also questioned assertions by Saudi authorities that the consulate does not have footage of Khashoggi leaving the building as the mission's security cameras only provide live footage and do not record images. "The intelligence reports are very direct, very short and give further credence to the fact that the focus needs to be on Saudi Arabia right now", Corker said.

There was a detailed plan to entice Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia, according to the Post, which cites intelligence documents outlined by US officials.

Turkish officials said they suspect the Washington Post contributor was killed at the Saudi Consulate and that his body was later removed from the building.

Khashoggi, 59, is a longtime leading Saudi journalist and former government advisor who went into exile last year after 33-year-old Prince Mohammed rose to power underneath his father the king. They haven't searched the consulate yet, as they have promised to do.

University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck weighed in on this revelation, saying it's "remarkable" that the USA had this intelligence and seemingly failed to act on it.

The prominent Saudi journalist and critic of the regime has been missing for more than a week after going to the Saudi consulate general in Istanbul to obtain wedding papers.

Since 2009, the executive branch has notified Congress of proposed foreign military sales to Saudi Arabia of major defense articles and services with a potential aggregate value of almost $139 billion, according to a Congressional Research Service report.

Boot told Lemon, "If these reports are accurate, they lured (Khashoggi) into their consulate in Istanbul on the soil of a North Atlantic Treaty Organisation country and killed and dismembered him. We have a country that's doing probably better economically than it's ever done before", Trump said.

He continued: "Part of that is what we're doing with our defence systems and everybody's wanting them".

The Washington Post reports that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered an "operation" against government supporter-turned-critic Jamal Khoshoggi, which would see him lured back to the kingdom and arrested.

He said he'll try to force a vote in the Senate this week blocking US arms sales to Saudi Arabia. The administration also relies on Saudi support for several aspects of its Middle East agenda.



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