Khashoggi's Saudi 'killers' sanctioned by UK government
Foreign Minister Dominic Raab on Monday named the first foreign citizens to face visa bans and have their assets frozen for alleged human rights abuses under the UK's new post-Brexit sanctions regime.
"The new 'Magnitsky'-style sanctions regime will target those who have been involved in some of the gravest human rights violations and abuses around the world," the UK foreign office said in a statement.
"The individuals and organisations are the first wave of designations under the new regime, with further sanctions expected in the coming months," the statement added.
The Saudi citizens mentioned in the list are Ahmed al-Asiri, who was deputy head of Saudi intelligence services and said to have commissioned the 15 man team sent to Turkey to murder Khashoggi.
Political advisor to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Saud Al-Qahtani - dubbed the "Saudi Steve Bannon" - was also mentioned on the list, for allegedly being part of the team orchestrating the killing of the Saudi journalist.
Salah Muhammed Al Tubaigy, forensic doctor in Saudi Arabia’s interior ministry. He was said to be present at the time of the murder and helped conceal the evidence of Khashoggi's killing.
Also included on the list are Brigadier General Mustafa Mohammed al-Madani, external intelligence officer Naif Hassan al-Arif and Major General Mansour Othman Abahussain.
Read also: Sons' forgiveness in Khashoggi murder 'parody of justice': UN expert
"From today, the ground-breaking global regime means the UK has new powers to stop those involved in serious human rights abuses and violations from entering the country, channelling money through UK banks, or profiting from our economy," the UK foreign office urged.
Raab, a former human rights lawyer, has pushed for a hard-hitting sanctions despite hesitations among some in the Foreign Office over its likely impact on bilateral relations with strategic allies like Saudi Arabia.
"With this legislation, the UK will have new powers to stop those involved in serious human rights abuses and violations from entering the UK, channelling money through our banks and profiting from our economy," Raab said.
"This is a clear example of how the UK will act as a force for good in the world, standing up for human rights. We will not let those who seek to inflict pain and destroy the lives of innocent victims benefit from what the UK has to offer."
Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi journalist and a columnist for The Washington Post was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul on 2 October 2018.
The Saudi insider-turned-critic was strangled, his body cut into pieces by a 15-man Saudi squad inside the consulate, according to Turkish officials.
His remains have never been found despite repeated calls by Turkey for the Saudis to cooperate in an investigation into his disappearance.