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  World   Americas  25 Oct 2018  CIA chief hears 'compelling' audio that 'captured' Khashoggi's murder

CIA chief hears 'compelling' audio that 'captured' Khashoggi's murder

THE ASIAN AGE
Published : Oct 25, 2018, 3:55 pm IST
Updated : Oct 25, 2018, 3:55 pm IST

On Monday, Haspel left for a secret trip to Turkey, heard the audio during her visit, according to people familiar with her meetings.

President Trump has grown increasingly sceptical of the Saudi’s claim that Khashoggi’s death was a 'rogue operation' that occurred after a fistfight broke out in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2. (Photo: File)
 President Trump has grown increasingly sceptical of the Saudi’s claim that Khashoggi’s death was a 'rogue operation' that occurred after a fistfight broke out in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2. (Photo: File)

Washington: In the latest development in Khashoggi’s murder, CIA Director Gina Haspel listened to the audio purportedly capturing the interrogation and killing of the journalist, reported Washington Post.

The audio is the key evidence used by Turkey to accuse Saudi Arabia of “planned” murder.

On Monday, Haspel left for a secret trip to Turkey, heard the audio during her visit, according to people familiar with her meetings.

President Trump has grown increasingly sceptical of the Saudi’s claim that Khashoggi’s death was a “rogue operation” that occurred after a fistfight broke out in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Read: Saudi Arabia admits journalist Khashoggi killed in consulate after 'fist fight'

On Tuesday, Donald Trump said Saudi officials had engaged in the “worst coverup ever” and those behind the killing” should be in big trouble”.

Read: Khashoggi killing 'one of worst cover-ups' in history: Trump

According to the report, a person who is familiar with the audio said it was “compelling” and could put more pressure on the US to hold Saudi Arabia accountable for Khashoggi’s murder.

Bruce Riedel, a former CIA official said, “This puts the ball firmly in Washington’s court. Not only will there be more pressure now from the media but Congress will say, 'Gina, we would love to have you come visit and you can tell us exactly what you heard.'”

To penalise Saudi Arabia, the trump administration on Tuesday took its first concrete steps by revoking visas for agents implicated in the murder, a modest move considering 18 of the 21 Saudi suspects were already under arrest.

Also Read: US revokes Saudi Arabia visas in first action over Jamal Khashoggi

Trump has reiterated that he views Saudi Arabia as a great ally and an important purchaser of US tanks, bombs and planes.

However, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has denied having knowledge of the mission and on Wednesday promised to bring those responsible to justice. He termed the killing of a journalist as a “heinous crime”.

Also Read: 'Heinous crime': Saudi prince’s first remark on Khashoggi’s killing

The Turkish official, on the other hand, has voiced their doubts about his intentions to support the investigation.

A Turkish senior official said, “How should a real investigation in Saudi Arabia work when one of the main suspects is the crown prince MBS?” referring to the crown prince by his initials.

Riedel said it will be difficult for Haspel to resist requests by Congress for a briefing. "It will be pretty hard for her to say no because at a minimum the intelligence committees can ask her to come in secret, but even if it's a secret session, it will leak fast," he added.

US lawmakers have increased pressure on the Trump administration, accusing the Crown Prince of ordering the killing.

Read: US' moral standing at risk, Senators urge Trump to condemn Khashoggi's murder

In an interview with CNN, Senator Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee said, “Do I think he did it? Yes, I think he did it.”

Senator Thom Tillis, another Republican, told NBC that "in Saudi Arabia, you do not do something of this magnitude without having clearance from the top."

Tags: united states, washington, cia chief, jamal khashoggi, jamal khashoggi killed, donald trump. gina haspel, mohammed bin salman, donald trump, gina haspel
Location: United States, District of Columbia, Washington