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US committed to identifying culprits in Khashoggi murder: Pompeo

Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October [Getty]

Date of publication: 28 March, 2019

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US Secretary of State said the Trump administration is still working “all across the government” to identify those responsible for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
The US is still working “all across the government” to identify those responsible for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told a congressional hearing on Wednesday.

The Trump administration maintains its commitment to holding those found responsible for the brutal killing accountable, including the most senior officials, Pompeo said, in reference to powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

“We will continue to work to identify those who are responsible for Jamal Khashoggi’s murder and hold them accountable,” Pompeo told the House Foreign Affairs Committee.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and critic of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October. Saudi Arabia initially said it had no knowledge of his fate.

It has since blamed rogue agents for Khashoggi's death and the kingdom's public prosecutor has charged 11 people over his murder.

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia reiterated its rejection of calls for an international, independent investigation into the murder of Khashoggi, insisting it was well equipped to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Bandar al-Aiban, the head of a Saudi delegation, speaking before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva insisted that his country was taking all the "measures required for us to resolve this heinous crime".

Interpol issued a red notice on the same day for 20 Saudi suspects in the murder of US-based Khashoggi upon Turkey's request. This makes the members of the execution team liable to arrest around the world.

Al-Aiban refuted calls to "internationalise" the investigation, saying it would "amount to an interference in our domestic affairs".

He spoke as the Human Rights Council conducted a regular review of Saudi Arabia's human rights record, a periodic process faced by all UN member states.

Saudi Arabia's human rights record has faced international scrutiny after the murder of Khashoggi. Dozens of Saudi women activists are imprisoned for their human rights work and have faced torture and sexual harassment in prison.

The CIA believe Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was behind the murder but the prince still has President Donald Trump's support and most US firms, despite widespread condemnation of the murder.

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