Sunday 24 March 2019

Trump calls Saudi response to Jamal Khashoggi's death 'the worst cover-up ever'

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (Hasan Jamali/AP)
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi (Hasan Jamali/AP) Newsdesk Newsdesk

US secretary of state Mike Pompeo has said the Trump administration is revoking the visas of some Saudi officials implicated in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Mr Pompeo announced the step at a State Department news conference.

Vice President Mike Pence said earlier that Mr Khashoggi's death at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, "will not go without an American response".

The visa revocations are the first punitive measures taken by the administration against the Saudis since Mr Khashoggi disappeared.

Visa records are considered confidential and Mr Pompeo did not say which or how many Saudi officials would have their visas revoked.

Saudi authorities have detained 18 people in connection with Mr Khashoggi's death, which officials say was accidental despite Turkish allegations that Mr Khashoggi was intentionally killed.

US President Donald Trump earlier criticised the Saudi operation that killed journalist Jamal Khashoggi, calling it one of the "worst cover-ups in the history of cover-ups".

Mr Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that he is expecting a full report on the killing soon.

But he said "they had a very bad original concept" and it was "carried out poorly".

He called the events after Mr Khashoggi's death "the worst cover-up ever".

Saudi Arabia has claimed Mr Khashoggi, a writer for The Washington Post who wrote critically about Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, died accidentally in a brawl at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

But Turkish officials say a 15-man team tortured, killed and dismembered the writer and say Saudi officials had planned the killing for days.

Press Association

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