US President Donald Trump has called Saudi Arabia’s response to the murder of the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi “the worst cover-up ever”. He said those behind the killing in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul three weeks ago “should be in big trouble”.
Shortly afterwards, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said the US will “punish those responsible” and has revoked visas of twenty-one identified suspects. The Saudi government has blamed the murder on rogue agents. But President Erdogan of Turkey has said the journalist was the victim of a carefully planned “political murder” by Saudi intelligence officers and other officials.
The Saudi government has provided conflicting accounts of what happened to Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post contributor. After weeks of repeated denials that it had anything to do with his disappearance, the kingdom has said the fifty-nine-year-old died in a “fist-fight” inside the consulate, without disclosing the whereabouts of his body.
Reports however gathered yesterday that Khashoggi’s body parts have been found in the garden of the Saudi consul general’s home. Many world leaders have condemned the murder of the prominent Saudi critic and demanded a full investigation.