Published: Thu, December 06, 2018
Worldwide | By Isabel Fisher

Istanbul prosecutor seeks arrest of Saudi officials over Khashoggi killing

Istanbul prosecutor seeks arrest of Saudi officials over Khashoggi killing

After the briefing with Haspel, South Carolina Republican Sen.

The ambassador is the brother of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whose alleged role in ordering the murder is at the heart of a burning controversy in the United States and across the world.

The move by the USA senators came as Istanbul's chief prosecutor filed warrants for the arrest of a top aide to MBS and the deputy head of the kingdom's foreign intelligence on suspicion of planning the killing of Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and a critic of the crown prince. "You have to be willfully blind" not to see it.

The CIA had already concluded with high confidence that the prince was behind the murder, but senators said Haspel provided a much more fulsome briefing than the one they had gotten from Cabinet officials, including new evidence. "I can foresee a circumstance where a bunch of amendments might be voted down and at some point, [Majority Leader Mitch McConnell's] got to move to a vote on the underlying resolution", Murphy said. "All evidence points to that all this leads back to the crown prince", Shelby said.

The senators urged the kingdom to negotiate directly with representatives of the Houthi rebels to end the war in Yemen.

The CIA, meanwhile, is facing growing pressure to brief the full Senate, since Tuesday's briefing comprised only roughly a dozen senators from the party leadership and who sit on key committees.

Pompeo and Mattis are now expected to give a briefing to the House on Yemen and Saudi Arabia on December 13, ahead of a Democratic takeover of the House in January following the party's gains in the midterm elections.

But the White House's decision to make Haspel available-though only to a small group of recalcitrant senators-has backfired again, since it whetted the appetite of more senators for a briefing of their own. "The motion to proceed's going to pass, and we're going to be in a fearless new world", the Connecticut Democrat told Roll Call on Tuesday. Supporters of the resolution, like Sen. But the Senate could vote to end that arms sale or end USA support of Saudi Arabia's war in Yemen.

Senate Foreign Relations Chairman Bob Corker told Roll Call Tuesday afternoon that interested parties would be meeting on Wednesday to try to find an agreement on handling the contentious Yemen resolution.

Henzel said the administration condemned the action and it would continue to press for accountability. "Now's the time to be the leader of the world".

Saudi Arabia has detained 21 people and says it is seeking the death penalty for five of them. "We have to figure out a way to condemn the butchery and the murder in the strongest possible terms without blowing up the Middle East", Kennedy said. "The United States intends to remain a steadfast partner of Saudi Arabia to ensure the interests of our country, Israel and all other partners in the region". The assistance began under the Obama administration.

The Senate is planning to vote on a proposal to end U.S. military support to the Saudi-led coalition fighting in Yemen, after members of both parties advanced the resolution last week. If it advances beyond that, senators have an opportunity to debate and add amendments to the resolution before a final vote.

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