Six months after the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi US bars 16 Saudis from entering the U.S. for their roles in the killing
The State Department Tuesday officially identified and barred 16 people from entering the U.S. over their roles in the killing of Khashoggi
The list includes Saud al-Qahtani, a former aide to the Saudi crown prince, as well palace linked intelligence officer Maher Mutreb, Thaar Alharbi and Salah Tubaigy
They are said to be part of the 15-man execution team involved in the October 2 murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey
‘Forensic expert’ Salah Muhammad Tubaigy, allegedly. was responsible for sedating and dismembering the writer while he was still alive
The Saudi prosecutor has acknowledged that the journalist, who was critical of the policies of the Saudi crown, was killed by lethal injection, then dismembered
The U.S. State Department has barred 16 Saudis for their roles in the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, [photo], inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey last October
The State Department has barred 16 Saudis and their families from entering the U.S. for their roles in the murder of writer Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul in October.
The designation of the named individuals issued on Monday makes them and immediate family members ineligible for entry into the United States.
Khashoggi wrote critically of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in columns for The Washington Post before he was killed.
After denying any knowledge of Khashoggi’s death for weeks, Saudi authorities eventually settled on the explanation that he was killed in an operation masterminded by former advisers to the Crown Prince.
Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, has been accused of ordering Khashoggi’s killing, but the kingdom claims the prince was not involved.
The 16 people includes Saud al-Qahtani, a senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, had already been sanctioned by the U.S. over Khashoggi’s death.
Maher Mutreb, who was part of the crown prince’s entourage on trips abroad, was also included on the list.
Donald Trump increasingly has come under pressure to impose sanctions on Saudi Arabia, even from House GOP, for the gruesome Khashoggi killing inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on Oct 2, 2018
Monday’s action was sanctioned under the 2019 State Department appropriations bill. This requires Secretary of State Michael Pompeo to refuse entry to individuals and immediate family members if he has information that they’ve been ‘involved in significant corruption or gross violations of human rights.’
The names had already been announced publicly, but Monday’s designation tells them their family members are now also at risk of being subject to a travel ban.
‘Those individuals and their immediate family members are ineligible for entry into the United States,’ the State Department said in a statement.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [right] met with Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in January at the Royal Court in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia in the immediate aftermath of the Khashoggi killing. Pompeo, announced the 16 Saudis allegedly committed ‘gross violations of human rights’
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who wrote critically about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2
Michael Pompeo has repeatedly insisted the U.S. will do what is necessary to punish those responsible for the death of Khashoggi, a former Saudi insider turned critic.
The father-of-four disappeared on October 2 when he went to the Saudi consulate in Turkey alongside fiancée Hatice Cengiz to obtain divorce papers from his previous marriage so he could remarry.
Turkey concluded that he had been killed soon after walking into the embassy and his body dismembered by a team of Saudi assassins.
The Arab kingdom initially denied the killing.
Saudi officials then changed the story several more times before finally acknowledging that he had been killed in an act of premeditated murder.
Semi-retired monarch, King Salman bin Abdulaziz [right], stands shoulder to shoulder with the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [center], as they receive Khashoggi’s son trying to quell the growing unease over the killing of the senior Khashoggi. The Saudi crown prince, has been accused of ordering Khashoggi’s killing, but the kingdom claims the prince was not involved
Included on the list were Saud al-Qahtani, (left), and Maher Mutreb, (right), who are reported to be among members of the 15-man execution team who murdered Khashoggi
Close to the crown: Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, can be seen in the background as Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman visits a Habitat for Humanity in Houston, Texas in April, 2018
Surveillance camera images of Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb [left], and Thaar Ghaleb al-Harbi, part of the team named in connection with Khashoggi’s disappearance, as they arrive in Turkey.
Despite Mutreb being seen before his departure at the Istanbul Ataturk Airport after the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, Turkey, Saudi denied accusations by the regime’s critics that Bin Salman had given the order, instead blaming ‘rogue elements’ of the state.
The Saudi Government have never publicly talked about the whereabouts of Qahtani, who was the crown prince’s chief enforcer and one of the architects of the effort to consolidate his power.
It has been reported that he is under house arrest. However there is no indication whether he is being criminally prosecuted amid reports that someone near the crown prince had to shoulder responsibility for the high-profile death.
The New York Times reported that the list of barred Saudis also included several members of the team sent to Istanbul, where Khashoggi was killed.
It includes the leader of that team, Maher Mutreb, an intelligence officer who knew Khashoggi from their days working together at the Saudi Embassy in London. He often traveled with the crown prince abroad.
CCTV shows missing Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, last October. He never emerged
A man holds a poster of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 8
The State Department on Monday identified and banned 16 Saudi nationals from entering the U.S. for their roles in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi
Footage appeared to show Mutreb entering the Saudi embassy hours before Khashoggi disappeared inside. He was later seen outside the consul’s residence.
Mutreb and another Saudi listed by the State Department, Thaar Ghaleb AlHarbi, a member of the royal guard and a favorite of the crown prince’s for his role in fighting off an attack on one of Prince Mohammed’s palaces, are on trial for his murder, according to The New York Times.
Salah Tubaigy was also listed by the State Department. He was recently identified by The Washington Post as a ‘medical specialist’ for the Saudi Interior Ministry.
‘Forensic expert’ Salah Muhammad Tubaigy, [photo L-R], reportedly could be heard telling others in the squad to put headphones in while dismembering Khashoggi. The victim was still alive
Tubaigy was reported to have administered a powerful sedative to Khashoggi during a struggle inside the consulate.
A Saudi public prosecutor said in November that Khashoggi was killed by lethal injection, then dismembered and handed over to an unidentified ‘local cooperator.’
Turkish security sources say that when Khashoggi entered the consulate, he was seized by 15 Saudi intelligence operatives who had flown in on two jets just hours before.
In January, Saudi Arabia indicted 11 people in the killing and is seeking the death penalty against five of them. Their names have not been released but their identities have been reported by various media outlets.
A statement issued by prosecutors did not name those in court. It also did not explain why seven other suspects arrested did not immediately face formal charges. The kingdom previously announced 18 people had been arrested.
Turkey demanded that Saudi Arabia extradite the suspects to be tried there for Khashoggi’s killing, but that request was rejected.