CIA Director to brief US senators on Jamal Khashoggi killing: US media

Saudi dissident files lawsuit against Israeli software company for spying on communications with Khashoggi

CIA Director Gina Haspel will give a closed-door briefing to leaders of several US Senate committees this week on the killing of Saudi dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, US media reported on Monday, citing unnamed sources.

Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate’s building in Istanbul 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

According to the Wall Street Journal, the briefing will take place on Tuesday.

Reuters news agency, citing a source familiar with the planned meeting, said Haspel will brief the Republican and Democratic leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Appropriations committees. The Reuters source added that the Senate Intelligence Committee already had been briefed by the CIA chief.

A Senate source, reported by Al Jazeera, also said Senate leaders would also participate in the briefing, which is scheduled for 11:30 am local time.

The CIA would not confirm or deny whether the briefing would take place.

ALSO READ: Turkey has evidence documenting Jamal Khashoggi was killed in seven and a half minutes: Erdogan

Meanwhile, Saudi dissident Omar Abdulaziz who currently living in Canada, has filed a lawsuit against Israeli software company NSO Group, known for building state of the art spy tech which it sells to governments, AJ reported.

According to the lawsuit, Israel-based NSO Group sold spyware to the Saudi government, which was then used to spy on mobile communications between Abdulaziz and Khashoggi.

Once installed, the Pegasus spyware is able to listen in on calls, read messages, record keystrokes and track internet history, AJ reported.

The phone’s microphone can also be turned on remotely, allowing the spyware to listen in on conversations without the owner of the phone realising he or she is being listened to, the report stated.

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

In the lawsuit, Abdulaziz says the Saudi government spied on conversations Abdulaziz and Khashoggi had.

In a response to the lawsuit, NSO Group said in a statement “licensed for the sole use of providing governments and law enforcement agencies the ability to lawfully fight terrorism and crime,” the New York Times reported.

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