Germany bans 18 Saudi nationals from Europe’s Schengen zone

Brussels: Germany has banned the entry of the 18 Saudi Arabian nationals linked with the murder of former Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Europe’s border-free Schengen zone, an area comprising 26 nations which have abolished the use of passports and other border-control measures.

In an interaction with the media here, Germany’s foreign minister Heiko Maas informed that Germany had imposed the ban on the Saudi nationals for the area in coordination with France and Britain, reported Al Jazeera. France is part of the Schengen area, while Britain is not.

“As before, there are more questions than answers in this case, with the crime itself and who is behind it,” Maas said, referring to the 18 Saudi nationals as “allegedly connected to this crime.”

He further declined to disclose the names of the Saudi nationals owing to German privacy protection laws.

Meanwhile, investigation in the case is underway and US President Donald Trump on Sunday said that an intelligence report on the murder of the Saudi journalist would be out “over the next two days.”

US officials believe and have repeatedly stated that there was Saudi Crown Prince’s hand behind the murder of The Washington Post columnist. The Trump administration also recently slapped sanctions on 17 Saudi nationals, for their alleged involvement in Khashoggi’s killing.

On October 2, Khashoggi was reported missing after he stepped into Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to collect paperwork that would allow him to get married to his Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz. Investigators are yet to find his body.