Argentina judge acts on complaint against Saudi prince

Sunday, 02 Dec, 2018

Several senators said they were angry about the absence of CIA Director Gina Haspel from the pre-vote briefing.

While some have suspected the involvement of at least some members of the Saudi royal family in this killing, U.S. President Donald Trump has insisted that there is not enough evidence to blame Saudi's crown prince.

The vote showed a significant number of Republicans were willing to break with Trump to express their deep dissatisfaction with Saudi Arabia and with the USA response to Khashoggi's brutal killing in Turkey last month.

It will be vital, said Alex Neve, the secretary general of Amnesty International Canada, to seek alliances with other countries gathered in Buenos Aires and form a united front to make it more hard for the crown prince to ignore or dismiss concerns. I don't think the War Powers Act is one, constitutional, (and) two, the aid we provide to Saudi Arabia and Yemen would require an authorization to use military force.

"If that doesn't constitute hostilities, I don't know what does", he said, becoming animated during his floor speech.

It cites the Saudi-led coalition's war in Yemen and his alleged involvement in the murder of Khashoggi on 2 October at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as reasons for the complaint. The Republican-led Senate voted 55-44 on March 20 to delay action on the same resolution in order to give the Trump administration more time to try to bring the conflict in Yemen to a resolution.

The crown prince was received by President Beji Caid Essebsi, who awarded him the republic's medal, the highest official award. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan called on Muslim countries to unite in face of regional challenges, like in Yemen, and those aiming to instigate divisions and conflict between them.

USA intelligence officials have said that the murder was carried out by agents of the Saudi government and ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Republican Senator Bob Corker, who chairs the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said it was apparent to everyone in the room that the crown prince was responsible for Khashoggi's death. A nurse said that the number of cases of children with severe malnutrition had doubled since the war began.

He went on to thank Saudi Arabia on Twitter for the current low oil prices and also compared the low prices to a big tax cut for the U.S. He implored Saudi Arabia to go lower in terms of oil prices.

He said the crown prince "owns this death". He added that while he didn't agree with the measure, "the way the administration has handled Saudi Arabia event is just not acceptable".

Mr Trump has been eager to prevent Mr Khashoggi's killing from derailing United States ties with Saudi Arabia, around which the administration has built much of its Mideast strategy.