April 8, 2019 9:23 pm

U.S. says 16 Saudis ineligible for entry ‘for their roles in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi’

Iceland's ambassador to the U.N. was joined by many other countries on Thursday, including Canada, in calling on Saudi Arabia to release 10 human rights activists and cooperate in the Jamal Khashoggi investigation.

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The United States has designated 16 people from Saudi Arabia for their roles in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

To designate a person is to label an official of a foreign government in a way that they or their immediate family members become ineligible to enter the United States. The U.S. secretary of state can do this when there is “credible information” that such people have been involved in “significant corruption or gross violations of human rights.”

WATCH: Feb. 14 — Pompeo pressed on Khashoggi murder probe

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo announced the designations on Monday.

The names of those designated were as follows:

  • Mansour Abahussain
  • Naif Alarifi
  • Fahad Albalawi
  • Meshal Albostani
  • Thaar Alharbi
  • Abdulaziz Alhawsawi
  • Mustafa Almadani
  • Badr Alotaibi
  • Khalid Alotaibi
  • Saif Alqahtani
  • Saud al-Qahtani
  • Turki Alsehri
  • Waleed Alsehri
  • Mohammed Alzahrani
  • Maher Mutreb
  • Salah Tubaigy

READ MORE: Children of Jamal Khashoggi reportedly received payments, million-dollar homes from Saudi Arabia

Al-Qahtani served as a royal court adviser to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman before he was fired in October, as reported by Al Jazeera.

He had also worked as a legal advisor to deceased Saudi King Abdullah bin Abdul Aziz Al Saud, before taking up work as an advisor to the deputy chief of the royal court and then becoming an advisor to the royal court in 2012, the outlet added.

Al-Qahtani was accused of having attacked people he saw as enemies of the kingdom on social media. He once tweeted that any person who “conspires” against Saudi Arabia wouldn’t escape a court hearing.

WATCH: Feb. 8 — Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancee releases his memoirs, hopes UN report will have international impact


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Al-Qahtani has been alleged by Saudi prosecutors to have played a key role leading up to Khashoggi’s murder at a consulate in Istanbul, The Washington Post reported.

In January, reports indicated that the former advisor had essentially vanished — the Saudi government would not confirm whether he had been detained or remained free, and al-Qahtani himself didn’t return an inquiry asking where he was.

At the time, 11 defendants had appeared in court in connection with the killing, but there was no confirmation from the prosecutor whether al-Qahtani had appeared himself.

READ MORE: 11 accused Jamal Khashoggi killers on trial, 5 could face the death penalty

Mutreb, meanwhile, is a former bodyguard to bin Salman, reported Joyce Karam at The National.

He had been assigned as a diplomat to the kingdom’s London embassy in 2007, and was often photographed leaving planes with the crown prince, The New York Times reported.

WATCH: Dec. 31, 2018 — Turkish TV shows purported transportation of Khashoggi remains

The Times reported additional information on numerous suspects whom the U.S. has designated ineligible for entry.

They included Alhawsawi, whom the newspaper said was a member of the crown prince’s travelling security team, as well as Alzahrani, whom it identified as one of the royal guard, based on a search of a Saudi app.

Tubaigy, meanwhile, was identified by the Times as an expert in autopsies.

READ MORE: Trump says CIA hasn’t pinned blame for Khashoggi killing on Saudi crown prince

American intelligence agencies believe that bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s killing.

U.S. President Donald Trump has stood by the crown prince.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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