US bars 16 people for roles in killing of Jamal Khashoggi

The US is publicly designating 16 people for their roles in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The designations mean the individuals named and their immediate family members are not allowed into the United States.

The list was released by the US State Department on Monday and includes Saud al-Qahtani, a former aide to the crown prince, and Maher Mutreb, who was part of the crown prince’s entourage on trips abroad.

Jamal Khashoggi
Image: Jamal Khashoggi wrote for The Washington Post

Mr Khashoggi wrote critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in columns for The Washington Post before he was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey in October.

After denying any knowledge of Mr Khashoggi’s death for weeks, Saudi authorities eventually settled on the explanation that he was killed in an operation masterminded by former advisers to Prince Mohammed.

The kingdom denies the crown prince had any involvement.

The US State Department said: “These designations are made under Section 7031(c) of the Department of State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs Appropriations Act of 2019 (Section 7031(c)).

More from Jamal Khashoggi

“Section 7031(c) provides that, in cases where the Secretary of State has credible information that officials of foreign governments have been involved in significant corruption or gross violations of human rights, those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States.

“The law requires the Secretary of State to publicly or privately designate such officials and their immediate family members.”

Mr Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Saudi rulers, had gone to the consulate to collect paperwork needed to marry fiancee Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside the building for him and raised the alarm when he did not emerge.

Turkey’s intelligence agency, along with western counterparts, believe the crown prince planned an operation to kill the writer and have his body dismembered and removed to an unknown location.

Jamal Khashoggi's fiancee Hatice Cengiz gave her first TV interview
Image: Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee Hatice Cengiz raised the alarm when he didn’t leave the consulate

The kingdom initially denied Mr Khashoggi was murdered but – under increasing international condemnation – later changed its story and admitted the 59-year-old was killed as part of a “rogue operation”.

The prince, who had been seen as a reformer in the West for, among other things, allowing women to drive, did not order the killing, Saudi officials insist.

In December, Saudi public prosecutors charged 11 people with carrying out the killing and are seeking the death penalty for five of the suspects.

The journalist appeared relaxed when he walked into the consulate on 2 October
Image: The journalist appeared relaxed when he walked into the consulate on 2 October

The full list of designated individuals are:

Saud al-Qahtani
Maher Mutreb
Salah Tubaigy
Meshal Albostani
Naif Alarifi
Mohammed Alzahrani
Mansour Abahussain
Khalid Alotaibi
Abdulaziz Alhawsawi
Waleed Alsehri
Thaar Alharbi
Fahad Albalawi
Badr Alotaibi
Mustafa Almadani
Saif Alqahtani
Turki Alsehri

Source: SKY NEWS

Please follow and like us: