11:12 GMT13 July 2020
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    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – German arms company Rheinmetall has been selling weapons to Saudi Arabia despite a complete halt in exports ordered by Berlin after the death of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, ARD reported on Tuesday.

    According to an investigation, conducted by the Stern magazine together with the ARD broadcaster, Rheinmetall has been shipping arms to Saudi Arabia through subsidiaries in Italy and South Africa.

    Rheinmetall board member Helmut Merch reportedly admitted in a conference call with bankers in mid-November that these two export channels were "not affected" by the ban.

    READ MORE: Germany Must Take Extra International Measures Over Khashoggi's Death — AfD

    Merch estimated the annual exports at more than 100 million euros ($114 million), while Fabio Sgarzi, the chief of the company’s Italian division RWM Italia, said it planned to triple production capacity.

    Saudi Arabia, media reported, was also seeking to increase the share of its state defence firm SAMI in Rheinmetall’s South African joint venture by acquiring the minority stake of another partner.

    The German government suspended new arms sales in October until the circumstances of the journalist’s death at a Saudi consulate were cleared, and put the agreed deliveries on hold weeks later. Khashoggi went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. After weeks of denials, the Saudi chief prosecutor admitted that the US-based Washington Post columnist had been killed inside the diplomatic mission. The Saudi government claims he died as a result of a rogue operation.


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    arms sales, Rheinmetall, Jamal Khashoggi, Germany, Saudi Arabia
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