Canada stands pat on Saudi arms sales, even after hearing Khashoggi tape

Leroy Wright
November 14, 2018

Shortly after Jamal Khashoggi was murdered, a member of a Saudi assassination squad is said to have phoned a superior and told him "tell your boss" their mission had been accomplished.

President Donald Trump's national security adviser said today that people who have listened to an audio recording of the killing of a Saudi journalist do not think it implicates Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in his death. Citing three unnamed people familiar with the recording, the New York Times claimed that U.S. intelligence officials believe the "boss" was the Saudi crown prince.

At the Saudi Royal Court in Riyadh on Tuesday evening, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman met with a number of families of servicemen killed in the line of duty. Indeed when the Saudi intelligence officer listened to the recordings he was so shocked he said: 'This one must have taken heroin, only someone who takes who heroin would do this, ' he added. "When the Saudi intelligence agent listened, he was shocked and said this could only be done by someone who got heroin".

The crown prince is not specifically mentioned by name during the audio recording, according to the Times. Saudi Arabia has repeatedly shifted its version of the events that transpired that day, and it has fired five top officials and arrested 18 Saudis it says are connected to the killing.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist, disappeared since he entered Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to obtain documentation certifying he divorced his ex-wife so he could remarry.

"That's not the conclusion that I think the people who heard it have come to", Bolton reportedly said during a Singapore news conference.

"The president has also said that this is an incredibly important relationship [between the United States and Saudi Arabia] that he wants to sustain, and that he doesn't see that affecting the arms sales", Bolton said.

President Donald Trump has expressed reluctance to punish Saudi Arabia economically, citing the kingdom's multibillion-dollar purchases of USA military equipment and investments in U.S. companies.

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"The killing of Jamal Khashoggi is a truly horrific crime".

"No Saudi prince has ever done this ever in its history", Baer said. Ankara insists the orders for the killing came from the highest levels of the Saudi government, but not King Salman.

"The first step in that process - not the only step but the first step in that process is to make sure there is proper accountability for the people who were responsible, both the people who committed the act but also the people who gave the orders for the act". More recently, a government source familiar with the matter said Qahtani featured prominently throughout the recordings.

Saudi officials said the Turks have not provided audio to them that includes the phrase "tell your boss".

The latest move of worldwide community to pressure Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, came on Monday from the U.K. The British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt met with King Salman, MBS and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Monday in Riyadh regarding the issue.

Prince Mohammed has tightened his grip in the past year since being appointed Crown Prince last June at the age of 31.

Erdogan has not given details of the contents of the tapes but two sources with knowledge of the issue have told Reuters that Turkey has several audio recordings.

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