United States actor De Niro calls for action on Khashoggi murder

Khashoggi murder: CIA chief Haspel 'to brief Congress'

A bipartisan group of Senate lawmakers has introduced a resolution condemning Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman and declaring in no uncertain terms that he is responsible for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Turkey after arriving for routine paperwork.

Khalid bin Salman flew back to Riyadh shortly after Khashoggi was killed at the consulate in Istanbul on October 2 as criticism mounted against the kingdom for initially denying anything happened to the writer.

Saudi authorities have previously said the agents who killed Khashoggi exceeded their authority.

The court application said there is "strong suspicion" the two aides were involved in planning the killing.

The Istanbul prosecutor in charge of the Turkish investigation said in late October that Khashoggi, a former Saudi insider turned critic, was strangled then his body was cut into pieces.

Senators in the coming week are likely to consider a resolution that would restrict USA support for the Saudi military campaign in Yemen, which has contributed to a humanitarian disaster.

Senator Bob Corker said: "I have zero question on my mind that the crown prince MBS ordered the killing".

Murphy, a member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, co-sponsored a bipartisan resolution calling for an end to US military aid in the Saudi-led war in Yemen which has found new support in the wave of attention to Khashoggi's death. Members of that chamber are scheduled to receive a briefing from Defense Secretary Jim Mattis and Secretary of State Michael Pompeo on December 13, according to a House aide.

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Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., concluded the crown prince was involved and suggested in a CNN interview Wednesday that Mattis and Pompeo were both technically accurate and echoing the administration's position.

But two key US Republican senators said a Tuesday briefing by the CIA's director only strengthened their conviction that Prince Mohammed directed the murder.

"There's not a smoking gun".

Graham has been particularly incensed by this, even sending a message to President Donald Trump on Fox News last night that he can't let Saudi Arabia get away with this lest he look "weak."

"If our government knows that Saudi leaders were involved in the murder of a U.S. resident, why shouldn't the public know this?" he said. "Guilty. A guilty verdict", Corker, the chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, told reporters after the briefing.

After the meeting, Republican Senator Lindsey Graham told reporters that MBS is "complicit" in the murder.

Last week, 14 Republicans, who hold a slim majority in the Senate and rarely break from the president, defied Trump's wishes and voted with Democrats in favour of moving ahead with the war powers resolution.

The CIA has evidence that the crown prince exchanged 11 messages with Qahtani, who allegedly oversaw the murder, just before and after it took place, according to United States media, including The Wall Street Journal.

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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