White House promises penalties on Saudi Arabia after journalist death

World Today

A bouquet of flowers brought by Sahar Zeki, an activist and a friend of killed Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi, is attached at the barriers blocking the road leading to Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Tuesday, Oct. 23, 2018. Saudi officials murdered Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi in their Istanbul consulate after plotting his death for days, Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Tuesday, contradicting Saudi Arabia’s explanation that the writer was accidentally killed. (AP Photo/Lefteris Pitarakis)

The United States has vowed to cancel visas of Saudi officials implicated in the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The White House also working on other penalties and sanctions against the Saudi government.

President Donald Trump is now condemning the cover-up of the Washington Post writer’s death.

“They had a very bad original concept. It was carried out poorly and the cover-up was one of the worst in the history of cover-ups. It’s very simple. Bad deal, should have never been thought of. Somebody really messed up. And they had the worst cover-up ever, ” said Donald Trump.

The United States response follows Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan calling the killing a pre-meditated “savage” murder.

The comments contradict changing stories by Saudi Arabia.. which claimed the killing at the Saudi consulate was accidental.

CGTN’s Michal Bardavid reports from Istanbul.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made his first extended remarks on Tuesday regarding the latest developments in the death of Jamal Khashoggi. The prominent dissident journalist was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Saudi officials have presented several narratives on how Khashoggi died, but so far no one has admitted the killing was planned. Saudi Arabia has fired several high-ranking intelligence officers and arrested 18 Saudi nationals in connection with the murder.

Erdogan stated this was not enough.

“Blaming some intelligence members for this matter will satisfy neither us nor the international community. The conscience of humanity will only be satisfied once everybody is called into account, from those who gave the orders to those who carried them out,” Erdogan said.

Earlier, Saudi Arabia’s Energy Minister stated that Khashoggi’s killing cannot be justified.

“We are going through a crisis of sort, resulting from the very regrettable and abhorrent incident that took place in Turkey. Nobody in the Kingdom can justify it or explain it, and from the leadership on down we are very upset about what has happened, and of course the king has made it very clear that there will be an investigation, justice and retribution to those responsible,” said Khald Al-Falih the Saudi Energy Minister.

Photos published by the Saudis showed King Salman and the Crown Prince receiving Khashoggi’s family on Tuesday. It was also reported that Erdogan called members of Khashoggi’s family to offer his condolences.

Closed circuit video footage released on Monday appeared to show a man leaving the Saudi consulate on October 2nd dressed in the same clothes Khashoggi was wearing when he entered the consulate that day. Erdogan said the footage was part of a cover-up effort by the team that killed Khashoggi.

During his speech, Erdogan also stressed that Saudis must reveal the name of the local collaborator who was given the body by Saudi officials. Turkish police have been searching for Khashoggi’s remains in different parts of Istanbul including some nearby forests.

On Tuesday, Turkish police searched an abandoned car with Saudi consulate plates that was found in a private parking lot. Early reports suggest possessions in the car, which matched another vehicle seen outside the consulate, might belong to Khashoggi.

Meanwhile, CIA head Gina Haspel has arrived in Turkey to discuss the Khashoggi case with Turkish officials. Erdogan also called for the 18 Saudis arrested in connection with the killing to be tried in Turkish courts.