Trump gushes over MbS, ignores Khashoggi murder questions

Trump gushes over MbS, ignores Khashoggi murder questions
2 min read
29 June, 2019
Crown Prince Mohammed has been linked to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
Trump and Prince Mohammed met on Saturday [Getty]

US President Donald Trump said controversial Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was doing a "spectacular job", despite being linked to the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"You have done a spectacular job," Trump told the crown prince at the G20 summit.

Trump also referred to Prince Mohammed as "a friend of mine", despite international outcry over the murder and then dismemberment of Khashoggi.

The president ignored questions from the media about whether he would raise the journalist's murder breakfast with the de-facto Saudi ruler.

The White House said the pair discussed "the importance of human rights issues", among other subjects, but gave no further details.

The CIA reportedly believes Prince Mohammed is linked to the murder of Khashoggi, at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last year.

Riyadh denies that Prince Mohammed has any connection to the murder which it describes as a rogue operation.

A UN expert report has said that the "execution of Mr Khashoggi was the responsibility of the state of Saudi Arabia".

The report added that Prince Mohammed must have been aware of attempts to cover up the crime, including a forensic cleaning of the consulate, and urged a formal criminal investigation into the case.

Saudi prosecutors has issued proceedings against 11 unnamed individuals in the kingdom.

Five of those face the death penalty in the trial, which has been held secretly, with only a handful of diplomats allowed to attend.