More presser on Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for the murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi as international demands continue to take firmer measures in accountability.
In the latest development, Congress gave the US intelligence a month to announce whether or not Muhammad bin Salman was responsible for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
This came in the annual defense budget project known as the “National Defense Powers Act”, which was passed by the US House of Representatives, on Thursday.
According to the American media, Jared Kushner, the son-in-law and adviser to President Donald Trump, has negotiated with members of Congress, on behalf of the White House, to delete items that hold the Saudi administration responsible for the Khashoggi killing and the Yemen war, but those items were retained in the last version of the draft budget.
Democratic Representative Tom Malinowski confirmed, in a statement to The Guardian newspaper, that US intelligence reports hold bin Salman responsible for the Khashoggi killing in some way, and stated that they are asking the Director of National Intelligence for a clear answer in this regard.
And he added, “It would not be surprising if the White House pressed the director of national intelligence to present a different result.”
The Senate is expected to approve the defense budget bill, next week, and send to President Donald Trump for signature.
On October 2, 2018, Khashoggi was killed inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul, and the case has become among the most prominent and widely discussed in the international agenda since then.
After 18 days of denial, during which Riyadh offered conflicting interpretations of the incident, the Kingdom announced the killing of Khashoggi after a “fight” with Saudi people, and the arrest of 18 citizens as part of the investigations, without revealing the location of the body.
The CIA and Western governments said they believed the Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, had ordered the killing of Khashoggi.
Bin Salman denied this, but said he bore the ultimate responsibility for the Khashoggi killing, as he was the de facto ruler of the country.
A few days ago, the Special Rapporteur for extrajudicial executions at the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, Anias Kalamar, called for international political accountability for the Al Saud regime for the Khashoggi murder.
Last June, Kalamar issued her own report on the killing of Khashoggi at his country’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.
As well as the murder, the report received wide media coverage, and caused severe embarrassment to the Kingdom, in particular to its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
But contrary to all pledges made to hold accountable and to continue the investigation by international leaders, and from the Secretary-General of the United Nations, Antonio Guterres, there are no judicial and political consequences so far of the crime, as Kalamar says. But this will not deter her from continuing to investigate, and to search for new ways, by using her position, to achieve progress in the areas of human rights.
At the end of last October, Kalamar submitted her annual report in New York City to the “Third Committee” on human rights in the United Nations General Assembly.