Dec 07, 2018 06:28 UTC
  • Senator Durbin calls for expulsion of Saudi ambassador to US

US Senator Dick Durbin has said the United States should expel Saudi Arabia's ambassador to the United States over the murder of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

According to Press TV, Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the United States is Prince Khaled bin Salman, the younger brother of the crown prince, whom intelligence sources identified as the man behind Khashoggi's gruesome murder.

After Durbin and a small number of other senators were briefed this week by CIA Director Gina Haspel on the Khashoggi killing, the Illinois Democrat senator Durbin said he did not understand the efforts made by US President Donald Trump and his administration, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defense Secretary James Mattis, to cast doubt on the prince's "obvious" involvement in the murder.

Durbin said that after being briefed by Haspel on Tuesday he was more convinced than ever that the onus was upon US administration to send a clear and strong message that Washington did not condone such actions.

"I said it months ago and I will say it again: we should formally expel the Saudi Ambassador to the United States given the Crown Prince's direct involvement in the kidnapping and murder of Jamal Khashoggi," Durbin emphasized.

Durbin, who had said earlier that bin Salman's "finger prints" were "all over" the Khashoggi murder case, added the Trump administration needed to stop "bending to the will of autocrats and dictators" and take a moral stand against these types of criminal actions.

In addition to Durbin, multiple US Senators have said the complicity of Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman in the murder is overwhelmingly supported by the evidence in the case.

Prince Khalid had allegedly called Khashoggi -- at the direction of his brother -- told him to go to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to receive marriage papers, while giving him assurances that he would be safe there.

Khashoggi went missing during the visit to the consulate on October 2.

Saudi Arabia initially insisted that the journalist left the consulate unharmed, but later admitted that he was killed and dismembered on the premises. The kingdom has claimed that the killing was a rogue operation in which the crown prince had no involvement. The US and Turkish security agencies have strongly rejected the claim.