Kayhan – France doesn’t rule out any sanction against Saudi Arabia if its authorities are found to have been involved in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, French Foreign Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said on Wednesday. France has called on Saudi Arabia to establish the truth about the case — having already changed its story several times — identify those behind the killing and punish them.
“So long as those who are responsible and the circumstances around the killing are not made public, released and evaluated, we will go on demanding the truth,” Le Drian told RTL radio. “So far we don’t have it.” “We’ll take the necessary measures against those who are responsible,” Le Drian said, adding that France didn’t rule out any sanctions against Saudi Arabia, which is a large buyer of French armaments, luxury products and many other exports.
The death of Khashoggi – a Washington Post columnist and a critic of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – has sparked global outrage and pitched the world’s top oil exporter into a period of crisis.
Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2 and has not been seen since. His body has not been found. Saudi Arabia has admitted he was killed in what it described as a botched rendition attempt. United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet, has called for international experts to be involved in an independent investigation into the murder of prominent Saudi dissident journalist.
“For an investigation to be carried out free of any appearance of political considerations, the involvement of international experts, with full access to evidence and witnesses, would be highly desirable,” Bachelet said on Tuesday. An exiled Saudi physicist and political dissident says U.S. President Donald Trump had been informed by intelligence agencies of a plot to kill journalist Jamal Khashoggi and colluded with Riyadh in his murder.
Mohammad al-Massari made the remarks in a program hosted by former British Labor MP George Galloway, footage of which was posted online. He revealed Trump’s involvement in Khashoggi’s murder, citing leaks from telephone conversations between Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, known as MBS, and exiled Palestinian politician Mohammed Dahlan obtained by a high-ranking Saudi official.
Massari said that Trump has been “lying” in whatever comment he has made regarding Khashoggi’s case as a copy of the Turkish-intercepted video was sent to him shortly after the critic was murdered. Trump had been receiving daily intelligence briefings by the CIA and FBI since late 2017 about a plot to kill or abduct Khashoggi, but he never warned the journalist about what was to happen, he added.
Demonstrators dressed as Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and US President Donald Trump (C) protest outside the White House in Washington, DC, on October 19, 2018, demanding justice for Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.