Khashoggi killing: Qatar FM says those behind murder ‘need to be held accountable’

Qatar’s Foreign Minister Sheikh Mohammed bin Abdulrahman Al Thani has told an international conference in Rome that people behind Jamal Khashoggi‘s killing should be “held accountable”, Reuters reported.

Khashoggi entered the building on October 2 to obtain documentation certifying he had divorced his ex-wife. He was not seen since.

Saudi Arabia has admitted that the Saudi critic died in a premeditated murder inside its Istanbul consulate – after weeks of consistent denials that it had anything to do with his disappearance.

Turkish media have reported Khashoggi was killed and dismembered based on recordings from the consulate. They say he died at the hands of a 15-member assassination squad from Saudi Arabia.

ALSO READ: Crimes against Journalists: Who was Jamal Khashoggi and what his killing means for press freedom

“Whoever is responsible for Khashoggi’s death needs to be held accountable,” he said.

Meanwhile, France has imposed a travel ban on 18 Saudi citizens over their suspected involvement in the killing of Khashoggi.

News channel Al Jazeera did a profile of the fifteen member assassination squad reported to have killed the journalist.

“The murder of Mr Khashoggi is a crime of extreme gravity, which moreover goes against freedom of the press and the most fundamental rights,” the French foreign ministry said in a statement.

“France asks that all light be shed on the manner in which such an act may have been committed. It expects from the Saudi authorities a transparent, detailed and exhaustive response,” the statement added.

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The ministry said the 18 Saudi nationals would be barred from entering the French territory and “the entire Schengen area” of Europe.

Moreover, Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) on Thursday went on a regional tour beginning with the United Arab Emirates (UAE).

This has been the first trip abroad since Khashoggi’s murder, with Riyadh called the killing ‘a rogue operation’.

Furthermore, US President Donald Trump stated that the CIA’s assessment that MBS had ordered the killing of Khashoggi was based on the agency’s ‘feelings’ which did not firmly place the blame on him.

ALSO READ: Jamal Khashoggi murder: Saudi Arabia’s foreign policy has always been that of survival of Al-Saud family, say experts

“I hate the crime, I hate the cover-up. I will tell you this: The crown prince hates it more than I do, and they have vehemently denied it,” he said.

When he was asked who should be held accountable for the murder, Trump said, ‘maybe the world’.

“Maybe the world should be held accountable because the world is a vicious place. The world is a very, very vicious place.”

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said Trump’s comments indicated that he would turn a “blind-eye” to the incident.

ALSO READ:  “Jamal was never a dissident. He believed in the monarchy,” say sons of killed Saudi dissident journalist Khashoggi

Speaking to local broadcaster CNN Turk, Cavusoglu added that the US had not informed Turkey of an audio recording in which MBS can be heard calling for Khashoggi to be “silenced as soon as possible”.

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