Turkey seeks arrest of Saudi officials over Khashoggi killing

US issues sanctions over Khashoggi murder

Two key US Republican senators said a Tuesday briefing by the CIA's director only strengthened their conviction that Saudi Arabia's crown prince directed the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

ANKARA - Turkey on Wednesday said Saudi Arabia needed to be transparent with the worldwide community about the investigation into the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, and that Ankara would willingly take part in an global probe.

Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., said there is "zero chance" the crown prince wasn't involved in Khashoggi's death.

"It could very well be that the crown prince had knowledge of this tragic event", Trump said in a lengthy statement November 20.

"There's not a smoking gun".

So far, President Trump has given the Saudi crown prince the benefit of the doubt about his role in the incident.

Algeria's largest Islamic party on Monday criticized Prime Minister Ahmed Ouyahia for welcoming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who arrived in the country a day earlier for an official visit.

Some of the most important evidence may be an audio recording of the murder that Turkey said it has distributed.

Graham, who was one of the sponsors of Wednesday's U.S. Senate resolution and has become one of the president's most vocal allies, said there may not be a "smoking gun", but that there was a "smoking saw", a reference to a bone saw that investigators said was used to cut up Khashoggi's body.

Speaking on condition of anonymity in line with government protocol, a senior Turkish official familiar with the investigation said the arrest warrants reflect Turkey's view that Saudi Arabia won't hold the suspects accountable.

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"At no time did HRH the Crown Prince correspond with any saudi officials in any government entity on harming Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen", she said on Twitter.

Co-host Mika Brzezinski pointed to a viral clip of the two foreign leaders exchanging a high-five like old friends at the G20 Summit in Argentina over the weekend.

According to U.S. media reports, the Central Intelligence Agency had evidence that Prince Khalid had spoken to Khashoggi before his death and assured him that he would be able to visit the consulate, where he planned to go to get documents he needed to marry his Turkish fiancee, without any risk to himself. Among those sanctioned were Qahtani, who was formerly a top aide to the crown prince.

Blunt is a member of the Senate Intelligence Committee and the fourth-ranking member of Senate GOP leadership.

Trump has equivocated over who is to blame for the killing, frustrating senators who are now looking for ways to punish the longtime Middle East ally.

Democrats provided similar reactions after the briefing, which was provided to leaders of Senate committees that focus on national security.

The Yemen legislation could set up a bitter year-end Senate floor fight over U.S. war powers.

Asked if he's spoken to the White House about the push, Graham said bluntly: "They know where I'm at".

Citing people familiar with the matter, the Post reported that Khalid told Khashoggi "that he should go to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to retrieve the documents and gave him assurances that it would be safe to do so".

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