US imposes sanctions against Saudi officials implicated in Khashoggi's murder

Still images taken from two different CCTV videos and obtained by Turkish security sources claim to show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as he arrives at Saudi Arabia's Consulate and another man allegedly wearing Khashoggi's clothes while walking in Ista Photograph:( Reuters )

WION Web Team Washington, DC, USA Nov 16, 2018, 07.30 AM (IST)

The United States imposed economic sanctions against seventeen Saudi officials for their role in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi although it said the move to find the killers was a"good first step".

Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor after conducting the enquiry said Khashoggi died by lethal injection after a struggle. The Saudi prosecutor requested the death penalty for five people "charged with ordering and committing the crime, and for the appropriate sentences for the other indicted individuals".

The Saudi prosecutor informed that 11 of 21 suspects have been indicted and will be referred to court.

The US meanwhile imposed sanctions against Saud al-Qahtani, a former aide of Prince Salman, consul general Mohammad al-Otaibi and members of 15-member team which flew to Turkey. The US sanctions do not specifically the Saudi government. The US sought to freeze the assets of those it targeted and barred them from its financial system. 

"These individuals who targeted and brutally killed a journalist who resided and worked in the United States must face consequences for their actions," Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin said in a statement.

US State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said there could be further sanctions against Saudi officials involved in the murder of  Khashoggi.

"It’s a step in the right direction. It is an initial investigation finding. It is important that those steps continue to be taken for a full accountability. We will continue to work diligently to ascertain the facts,” the US state department spokesman said.

"It’s a step in the right direction. It is an initial investigation finding. It is important that those steps continue to be taken for a full accountability. We will continue to work diligently to ascertain the facts,” she added.

Jamal Khashoggi was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd after he entered the premises to submit documents, a known critic of the Saudi government his killing led Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan to declare that operation came from the highest level of Saudi leadership but probably not King Salman.

Story highlights

The Saudi prosecutor informed that 11 of 21 suspects have been indicted and will be referred to court.