The US State Department has publicly identified 16 people it says had “roles in the murder of Jamal Khashoggi,” the Saudi journalist who was killed in Turkey in October.
The 16 people and their immediate family members are now banned from U.S. soil, the State Department said in a Monday statement. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who reportedly ordered the journalist’s assassination, was not among those named.
As AP noted, the list did include people with close ties to the crown prince, including his former aide Said al-Qahtani and Maher Mutreb, who’d been part of the royal’s entourage during foreign trips.
President Donald Trump has come under scrutiny for refusing to blame Crown Prince Mohammed for Khashoggi’s killing — despite US intelligence agencies’ reported identification of the royal as the instigator of the crime.
Last month, it emerged that the Trump administration ― which is seeking a nuclear energy deal with Saudi Arabia ― had secretly granted approval to several companies to share certain nuclear power technology with the country.
Some lawmakers have since demanded to know whether these approvals occurred before or after Khashoggi’s murder.
“I think it’s critical to know exactly how this happened, when it happened and particularly were you doing this after Khashoggi?” Sen. Bob Menendez told The Hill this week.