Khashoggi murder, US Senators: No doubts on Mohammed bin Salman involvement

The conclusion after the Senate hearing of Cia Director Gina Haspel. Democrats and Republicans united in accusing the Saudi hereditary prince. In court, he would be declared "guilty in 30 minutes". We do not have a smoking gun, but "a steaming saw". The sale of weapons to Riyadh is at stake.

Washington (AsiaNews / Agencies) - According to some authoritative US senators, the hand of the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) is behind the assassination of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,  in spite of the official denials of Riyadh. After hearing the CIA Director Gina Haspel in audition, the members of the Senate Foreign Affairs Committee do not use the word media and speak of "zero doubts" about the complicity of the number two of the Wahhabi kingdom.

In an unprecedented attack, casting more than a shadow on the relations between President Donald Trump's White House and Riyadh, Senator Lindsey Graham says he strongly believes in the "direct responsibilities" of Mbs. The Republican representative of South Carolina calls bin Salman a "wrecking ball", a "madman" and a "dangerous" person.

He is echoed by Bob Corker, president of the Senate Committee, who says he has "zero doubts" about the fact that "the crown prince directed the murder and was informed of every detail related to the operation. If he were in front of a jury in court, he would be convicted in 30 minutes ". "Here we do not have a smoking gun - adds Graham - in this case there is a steaming saw" with a clear reference to the dismemberment of Khashoggi's body inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, where the murder took place in early October .

The senators then renew their call to the White House to take punitive measures against Riyadh and to assess the link between Trump and Mbs, anti-Iranian iron allies in the Middle East region. There are also billion dollar arms deals at work, which the Senate  has recently criticized over their use in Yemen, where the Saudis have bombed and killed civilians in many cases, including women and children. The United States, underlines the New Jersey Democrat Bob Menendez, must "send a clear signal and an unequivocal message that such acts cannot be acceptable".

The Senate is therefore considering putting to the vote the end of US military support in Riyadh and the Arab coalition operating in Yemen. The members of the Upper House therefore seem intent on exerting pressure on President Trump to give a clear and unequivocal sign of condemnation of Mbs. Under consideration the hypothesis to block the sale of weapons or to introduce targeted sanctions, which certainly would not be welcome to the White House.

For the US intelligence agency, bin Salman "most likely" ordered the killing of Khashoggi, who had long resided in the United States.