Khashoggi's fiancée says Saudi crown prince should be punished 'without delay'

Khashoggi's fiancée says Saudi crown prince should be punished 'without delay'

An Indonesian journalist holds a placard during a protest over the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in front of the Saudi Arabian embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia, October 19, 2018. Khashoggi's Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, said failure to punish MBS would signal he "can get away with murder". "The lack of action against the Crown Prince sends a clear message across the globe that those at the top can escape consequences".

Khashoggi had once been close to the Saudi royal family but before his death had written critical pieces in the Washington Post about MBS and his policies.

Washington imposed sanctions on some Saudis for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, but fell short of sanctions against Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

President Joe Biden's decision to publish a U.S. intelligence report asserting that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved an operation to "capture or kill" journalist Jamal Khashoggi not only alters the relationship between Washington and Riyadh, but refocuses attention on the Saudi heir and de facto ruler of the kingdom.

The Saudi government, which has denied any involvement by the crown prince, rejected the report's findings.

Price said he could not disclose the names of the 76 people and declined to say whether or not Mohammed bin Salman was among them.

These bodyguards had previously taken part in "dissident suppression operations" both inside and outside Saudi Arabia, Washington claims.

Khashoggi's fiancée says the punishment is essential for justice.

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'How can that be reconciled with the human rights values the USA and the West have espoused for so long?

"I urge everyone to put their hands on their hearts and campaign to punish the crown prince", Ms Cengiz added.

Mr Biden has previously criticised Saudi Arabia, but in some contexts, the White House also regards it as a strategic partner.

"The [US-Saudi] relationship is not going to look like what it looked like in the past", White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki said in Monday's press briefing, adding that the United States reserved the right to take further punitive actions.

She told CNN that Biden wanted to "be able to leave room to work with the Saudis on areas where there is mutual agreement".

Riyadh now insists that the killing was a rogue operation, having changed its story multiple times after initially denying that Khashoggi died at all.

A Saudi court sentenced the five alleged killers to death in December 2019 after trials held in near-secrecy. But it will be seen as an extraordinary rebuke of the ambitious 35-year-old Saudi leader, and is likely to set the tone for the Biden administration's relationship with the kingdom. His remains have never been found.

As a presidential candidate, Biden told the Council on Foreign Relations think-tank that Trump "defended not the slain USA resident" - Khashoggi had been living and writing in the United States at the time of his murder - "but his killers".

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