Germany bars 18 Saudis over Khashoggi murder

Germany bars 18 Saudis over Khashoggi murder
2 min read
19 November, 2018
Eighteen Saudis linked to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been barred from entering Germany.
Maas has pushed for tough action against Saudi Arabia [Getty]

 

Germany will bar 18 Saudis linked to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi from entering the country, Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said on Monday.

The men will also not been allowed to enter Europe's Schengen passport-free zone following the killing of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

"[We have] decided that Germany should impose an entry ban on 18 Saudi citizens, who are presumed to be in connection with this deed, in the Schengen information system," Maas told reporters.

He added that the move was "coordinated very closely with" states France, the UK and other EU states.

"We are in close coordination on this issue within the European Union," he said, speaking on the sidelines of a meeting of EU ministers in Brussels. 

"Over the weekend, we stated that we expected further steps to be taken to clarify the situation. We will follow on this closely and reserve further steps for ourselves."

Germany halted arms sales to Saudi Arabia last month following the murder of the journalist, urging other EU countries to join the boycott.

Non-EU states Norway and Switzerland have also frozen arms sales to Riyadh, although the UK and France - two of Saudi Arabia's principle weapons suppliers - are yet to back the embargo.

Turkey has released information on the killing, with audio recordings suggesting that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the murder.

Riyadh denied that the crown prince was responsible, but has shifted its narrative from when it initially claimed that Khashoggi left the consulate building alive.

Riyadh now claims that a 15-member team went to Istanbul to bring Khashoggi back to the kingdom but killed him instead in a rogue operation.

This account absolves the crown prince from blame in the murder, and instead focuses on punishing the 15 Saudis, including two close members of the Prince Mohammed's inner-circle.

The US, traditionally Riyadh's closest ally, has sanctioned 17 Saudis for the crime.