IANS

CIA Director to brief lawmakers on Khashoggi murder

Washington, Dec 4 (IANS) Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) Director Gina Haspel is slated to brief a small group of lawmakers Tuesday on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to a congressional source.

Haspel will brief the chairmen and ranking Democrats of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, the Senate Armed Services Committee and the State and Foreign Operations Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, a senator, who will be attending the meeting, told CNN on Monday.

The meeting will take place at 11 a.m. in the Sensitive Compartmented Information Facility in the basement of the Capitol Visitors Centre.

Last week, senators rebuked President Donald Trump’s administration when they were denied a CIA briefing on Khashoggi.

Khashoggi — who was a US resident, a Washington Post contributor and a frequent critic of the Saudi Arabian government — was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary James Mattis traveled to Capitol Hill last week without Haspel for a closed-door briefing on Yemen for Senate lawmakers at which they emphasized the strategic importance of the US-Saudi relationship and defended the administration’s response to Khashoggi’s murder.

Pompeo said after the briefing that there was “no direct reporting” that connected Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to the killing.

But the CIA has concluded that the Crown Prince personally ordered Khashoggi’s killing, despite the Saudi government’s denials that the ruler was involved.

–IANS
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