Turkey briefs US Senators on Khashoggi killing

Istanbul: Senators from the United States of America on Friday were briefed by Turkey’s head of intelligence Hakan Fidan about investigations into journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death on Friday.

Fidan’s briefing comes amid calls by six US Senators to hold Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accountable for Khashoggi’s death at Saudi Arabia’s consular premises in Istanbul on October 2.

Quoting sources, Al Jazeera reported that this could help the Senators in strengthening their case against the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, also known as MBS.

Earlier, the United Nations Human Rights chief Michelle Bachelet had pushed for an international inquiry to ascertain who is responsible for Khashoggi’s killing.

Speaking at a conference in Geneva on December 5, she had said: “I do believe it is really needed in terms of ensuring what really happened and who are the (people) responsible for that awful killing.”

Investigations into Khashoggi’s killing are still going on in both Turkey and Saudi Arabia. US President Donald Trump has refused to sever ties with “key allies” Saudi Arabia over the journalist’s death, despite a Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) report that concluded MBS to be behind Khashoggi’s death. The United States has since mentioned that the report did not have any concluding remarks, leading to a furore by US Senators.

Several Senators, after a briefing with CIA chief Gina Haspel on December 4, stated that they were convinced of MBS’ role in Khashoggi’s death. Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said that there is “zero chance” that MBS is not involved in the killing, after the briefing.

Saudi Arabia has continuously denied reports of MBS’ involvement in Khashoggi’s killing, reinforcing that they are taking judicial measures to bring the perpetrators to justice.

Several world leaders, including British Prime Theresa May and French President Emmanuel Macron, met MBS on the sidelines of the recently held G-20 summit in Argentina and pushed for transparent investigations into the journalist’s death which has gripped the world.