Khashoggi murder: Pompeo says 'no direct evidence' implicates Saudi prince

by Garry Watts December 3, 2018, 15:32
Khashoggi murder: Pompeo says 'no direct evidence' implicates Saudi prince

In the statement, they said the "whole world is certain that he ordered a bad crime against the journalist Jamal Khashoggi".

In the video being circulated, Putin and Prince Salman are seen smiling and then smashing a high five before sitting next to each other. But Prince Mohammed has repeatedly denied planning or participating in the murder, instead placing the blame on rogue operatives.

Prince Mohammed's case was not helped by the leak of a Central Intelligence Agency report saying he sent 11 messages to Saud al-Qahtani - a former close aide - at the time Khashoggi was killed.

The warm greetings between Putin and Khashoggi has led to a strong reaction from Twitterati.

But the Turkish leader, also attending the G-20, was visibly cooler towards the 33-year-old prince and on Saturday directly criticised him for the first time over the killing of Khashoggi, a royal confidant turned critic.

His remarks came despite the CIA's announcement that the Saudi crown prince had ordered the murder of Khashoggi.

"I took the opportunity to have a conversation with the crown prince directly, in which we discussed the diplomatic discord between Canada and Saudi Arabia", he said.

The United States, however, has maintained a distance with their counterparts from Riyadh.

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Pompeo is a former director of the Central Intelligence Agency, which has reportedly concluded that Prince Mohammed ordered the murder.

On Friday, a group of students called for nationwide protests to prevent the Saudi Crown Prince from setting foot on the "pure Mauritanian soil".

Last month, Pompeo seconded that Saudi Arabia is an important ally of the USA, especially to take control of Iran, secure Iraq's democracy and to fight the Islamic State terrorists and other armed groups.

Their embrace comes amid reports that Russian Federation and Saudi Arabia have reached a pact to cut oil production when the OPEC cartel meets on December 6 in Vienna, to help shore up collapsing crude prices.

The Saudi journalist was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

The president has said that the strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia and the benefit to the United States economy from Saudi arms purchases are too important to rupture over the killing of Khashoggi, which he has condemned.

Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor has said MbS knew nothing of the operation to kill Khashoggi.

In one message, Khashoggi tells Abdulaziz, 'Tyranny has no logic, but he loves force, oppression and needs to show them off.

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