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Washington Questions Leaks in Khashoggi Case

Washington Questions Leaks in Khashoggi Case

Sunday, 18 November, 2018 - 06:15
A general view of Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. (SPA)

The American administration denied on Saturday that it had reached a final conclusion in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.


The allegations were made after US President Donald Trump contacted Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and CIA chief Gina Haspel.


“Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said in a statement.


“There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi.”


The State Department will continue to seek facts, Nauert said, "while maintaining the important strategic relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia."


Trump on Saturday described Saudi Arabia was "a truly spectacular ally in terms of jobs and economic development."


Meanwhile, Saudi Ambassador to the US Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz categorically denied Washington Post claims that he had communicated with Kashoggi before his death.


“As we told the Washington Post the last contact I had with Mr. Khashoggi was via text on Oct 26 2017. I never talked to him by phone and certainly never suggested he go to Turkey for any reason. I ask the US government to release any information regarding this claim,” he tweeted.


“Unfortunately the @washingtonpost did not print our full response. This is a serious accusation and should not be left to anonymous sources,” he added.


The following is Prince Khalid’s full response: “The Ambassador met Jamal once in late September 2017 in person for a cordial discussion, and they communicated via text after the meeting, the last message sent by the Ambassador to him was on 26 of October 2017. At no time did Prince Khalid discuss anything related to going to Turkey with Jamal.”


“Amb Prince Khalid bin Salman has never had any phone conversations with him. You are welcome to check the phone records and cell phone content to corroborate this in which case, you would have to request it from Turkish authorities; as our Public Prosecutor have numerous times to no avail.”


“The claims in this purported assessment is false. We have and continue to hear various theories without seeing the primary basis for these speculations.”


Ever since Turkish authorities announced Khashoggi’s disappearance in Istanbul, American media has published varying reports about the case. The Washington Post has however, adopted tough rhetoric, publishing a series of accusations over the past few weeks, saying Saudi Arabia was complicit in the murder.


It went so far as to accuse Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defense, of being involved. Shane Harris, a specialist in national security and intelligence affairs, Greg Miller, a national security correspondent and Josh Dawsey, a White House reporter, made the accusations in a recently released article in which they relied on anonymous intelligence sources.


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