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.”
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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
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.
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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.
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.
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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.
American intelligence agencies believe that bin Salman ordered Khashoggi’s killing.
U.S. President Donald Trump has stood by the crown prince.