Saudi crown prince would be 'guilty of Khashoggi murder' if tried in court: Corker

Saudi crown prince would be 'guilty of Khashoggi murder' if tried in court: Corker
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman would be found guilty of Khashoggi's murder if tried in court, Senator Bob Corker has said.
3 min read
05 December, 2018
Bob Corker has lashed out at MbS [Getty]


Two senior US Senators have said there is no chance that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was not involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

"I have zero question in my mind that the crown prince directed the murder and was kept appraised of the situation all the way through it," Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker said.

He made the comment after CIA director Gina Haspel briefed a small group of senators on the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, who was murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.

"If MBS were in front of a jury, he'd be convicted in less than 30 minutes."

Senator Lindsey Graham, another Republican has also turned on the Riyadh regime following the murder, and said the US should "sanction the hell out of it".

Prince Mohammed is "crazy" and "a wrecking ball" who is "complicit in the murder of Mr Khashoggi to the highest level possible", he said on Tuesday.

"There's not a smoking gun but a smoking saw," he said, referring to the instrument believed to have been used to dismember the journalist's body.

It was also a reference to Defence Secretary Jim Mattis' comments that there was "no smoking gun" implicating the crown prince to Khashoggi's murder.

Critics of US President Donald Trump have said that he has sought to shield Prince Mohammed from criticism and ignore evidence from the country's leading spy agency.

Among the details to emerge from a CIA report allegedly linking Prince Mohammed to the murder of Khashoggi was a number of messages sent to key royal court aide Saud al-Qahtani, on the day the journalist disappeared.

Qahtani has since been sacked and implicated in the Khashoggi case since, as Riyadh seeks to shelter the crown prince from the storm.

Graham said "the brutality of this murder is beyond my sharing it with you".

"If the Saudi government is going to be in the hands of this man for a long time to come, I find it very difficult to be able to do business, because I think he's crazy, I think he is dangerous and he has put the relationship at risk."

He also rejected the views of the Trump administration that there was no evidence directly linking the crown prince to the murder.

"You have to be wilfully blind not to come to the conclusion that this was orchestrated and organized by people under command of MBS, and that he was intricately involved in the demise of Mr Khashoggi," the senator said.

Democrats have also called for the crown prince to be sanctioned.

"I am now more convinced than I was before - and I was pretty convinced - that in fact the United States must have a strong response to both the war in Yemen as well as the killing of the United States permanent resident and journalist Jamal Khashoggi," Senate Democrat Bob Menendez said.