Published: Mon, January 07, 2019
Global News | By Blake Casey

Pompeo to Discuss Khashoggi's Killing During Middle East Tour

Pompeo to Discuss Khashoggi's Killing During Middle East Tour

He will also seek an update on the status of the investigation into the death of Khashoggi, Al Jazeera reported.

Saudi Arabia's investigation and handling of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi still lacks full credibility and accountability, a senior USA official said Friday.

Bolton is leaving for the region on January 5 and is scheduled to meet with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu before moving on to Turkey, where he will be joined by General Joseph Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

The official added that "from our point of view, that the narrative emerging from the Saudis throughout the legal process has yet to hit that threshold of credibility and accountability".

The State Department official said the United States was not "looking to get into the weeds" of the court case, but would emphasize the need for a credible legal process.

Saudi authorities have denied that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had any involvement in the slaying.

Saudi officials have rejected accusations that the crown prince ordered his murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, in which Khashoggi's body was dismembered and removed from the building and handed over to an unidentified "local cooperator".

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Khashoggi's killing was ordered by the highest level of Saudi leadership.

The Saudi cyber-crime law states that "production, preparation, transmission, or storage of material impinging on public order, religious values, public morals, and privacy, through the information network or computers" is a crime punishable by up to five years in prison and a fine, according to rights group Amnesty International.

US President Donald Trump has cultivated a close relationship with the crown prince and says he stands by the kingdom's de facto ruler despite the Central Intelligence Agency assessment and pleas from US senators for Trump to condemn and punish the prince.

The US says Saudi Arabia still has not offered a credible explanation of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

But at the same time Prince Mohammed, whose right-hand aides were allegedly involved in the murder, was exonerated despite United States intelligence reportedly having evidence that he was behind it.

And Summer Lopez, PEN America's senior director of Free Expression Programs, said the request by the kingdom was "part of Saudi Arabia's standard playbook of repression".

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