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US lawmakers seek sanctions on Riyadh over Khashoggi

October 19, 2018 at 1:17 am

President Donald Trump address Congress in Washington, US on 30 January 2018 [Samuel Corum/Anadolu Agency]

More than 40 lawmakers on Thursday urged US President Donald Trump to impose sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act on those responsible for a missing Saudi journalist’s murder, Anadolu reports.

“If your immediate investigation and determination are consistent with ongoing media reports about this outrageous action, we urge strong, comprehensive sanctions,” members of the House of Representatives said in a letter, which also called for an end to US support for Saudi Arabian military action in Yemen.

“Today, more than 40 lawmakers joined me in urging President Trump to enforce strong sanctions on those responsible for the murder & dismemberment of American resident, @washingtonpost journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” Congressman Lloyd Doggett said in a post on his Twitter account.

The lawmakers also voiced support for their colleagues in the Senate, who have already triggered an investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.

Khashoggi has been missing since Oct. 2 when he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Read: Khashoggi’s killing and the rise of a mafia state

On the same day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.

On Wednesday, crime scene investigation units arrived at the official residence of Saudi Consul General Mohammad al-Otaibi around 4.40 p.m. local time (1340GMT). Al-Otaibi had left Turkey for Riyadh on Tuesday.

Officials from a joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case early Thursday after searching the residence as well as the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Read: Accused of torturing Khashoggi to death, who is Tubaigy?

Trump said it “certainly looks” like Khashoggi is dead, amid speculation he was killed by Saudi Arabia.

“We’re waiting for some investigations, and waiting for the results, and we’ll have them very soon. And I think we’ll be making a statement, a very strong statement, but we’re waiting for the results of about three different investigations,” he told reporters before departing for a campaign rally in Montana.