State Department: No conclusion yet on Khashoggi murder

State Department says administration has yet to make a "final conclusion" on who is responsible for murder of Saudi journalist.

Elad Benari ,

Jamal Khashoggi
Jamal Khashoggi

The State Department on Saturday made clear that the administration has yet to make a "final conclusion" on who is responsible for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The statement came following reports claiming that the CIA concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the killing.

"The United States government is determined to hold all those responsible for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi accountable. Recent reports indicating that the US government has made a final conclusion are inaccurate. There remain numerous unanswered questions with respect to the murder of Mr. Khashoggi. The State Department will continue to seek all relevant facts. In the meantime, we will continue to consult Congress and work with other nations to hold accountable those involved in the killing of Jamal Khashoggi,” said State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert.

“The US government has taken decisive measures against the individuals responsible, including visa and sanctions actions. We will continue to explore additional measures to hold those accountable who planned, led and were connected to the murder. And, we will do that while maintaining the important strategic relationship between the United States and Saudi Arabia," she added.

The Turkish government has accused Saudi Arabia of murdering the dissident journalist, who was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, and chopping his body into pieces.

Saudi Arabia admitted for the first time several weeks ago that Khashoggi was killed after entering the consulate in Istanbul, after previously denying Turkish claims that he was murdered. At the same time, the Saudi leadership claimed Khashoggi was killed in a “rogue” operation.

In response to the killing of Khashoggi, the US revoked the visas of 21 Saudi nationals implicated in the crime.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo told Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman recently that the US will hold accountable all involved in the killing of Khashoggi.

Seeking to sanction Saudi Arabia even more, Republican and Democratic US senators this past week introduced a bill that would suspend weapon sales to Saudi Arabia and prohibit US refueling of Saudi coalition aircraft for Riyadh’s campaign in Yemen against the Iranian-backed Shiite Houthi rebels.