Germany calls for united response to Khashoggi killing

Germany calls for united response to Khashoggi killing

Kerry Wise
October 23, 2018

Germany last month approved €416 million (US$480 million) worth of arms exports to Saudi Arabia for 2018.

They included Gen Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, an intelligence officer who had been photographed near the crown prince during visits to Paris, Madrid, Houston, Boston and the United Nations.

The Saudi government initially denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance, but finally admitted early Saturday that he had died at the consulate, claiming he was killed in a "fistfight".

Turkish government sources have claimed that Khashoggi, a critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and the Saudi government, was tortured and murdered by a hit squad flown in from Riyadh. Saudi Arabia said 18 Saudis were arrested and several top intelligence officials were fired. "There obviously was a tremendous mistake made, and what compounded the mistake was the attempt to try to cover up", Jubeir said. He sought to shield the 33-year-old crown prince from responsibility, as lawmakers in the US and leaders around the world pin blame on the country's heir apparent.

Mr Al-Jubeir echoed President Donald Trump's warnings against rushing to judgment against Saudi leaders, saying "there is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty", and that some have "turned that upside down".

He also said that he would make another new statement on the case next week.

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No CCTV footage showed him ever exiting the building and he was declared a missing person.

For Saudi Arabia's allies, the question will be whether they believe that the Crown Prince, who has painted himself as a reformer, has any culpability.

He called the death of Khashoggi at the consulate in Istanbul a "criminal act" but an "aberration".

"We discovered that he was killed in the consulate".

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"First, we condemn this act in the strongest terms", she told a news conference after speaking to members of her Christian Democrat (CDU) party.

Corker said he was still hoping for Turkey to turn over purported tapes of what happened, but that after a conversation with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, he did not believe the USA had received the tapes as of early Saturday afternoon.

Saudi Arabia's explanation of the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at its consulate in Istanbul is not credible, Britain's Brexit minister Dominic Raab said on Sunday.

Back inside the consul's office, according to the official's account, Khashoggi told Mutreb he was violating diplomatic norms and said, "What are you going to do with me?"

"There was absolutely no bone saw", the Saudi official said. "There is a possibility he found out about it afterward".

"I am not satisfied until we find the answer".

"Do I think he did it?"

Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said Saturday on CNN's "State of the Union" that he believed Prince Mohammed, the heir-apparent of the world's largest oil exporter, was behind the killing.

Sen. Ben Sasse, a Nebraska Republican, echoed that view. "It's the only thing the Saudis will listen to", said Paul.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan - who has remained largely silent, even as Turkey's pro-Government media reported gruesome allegations about how Khashoggi was killed - said he would reveal "necessary details" about the case later in the week.