15:22 GMT21 October 2020
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    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The United States should hold Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman responsible for the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul along with any other officials involved in the case, Senator Richard Blumenthal said in a Twitter post on Tuesday.

    "No way now to tolerate Saudi whitewash or cover up. All culpable, including the Crown Prince, should be held accountable," Blumenthal wrote.

    READ MORE: Turkish President Claims Saudi Journalist Khashoggi's Body 'Nowhere to Be Found'

    The senator stressed that President Donald Trump and the US Congress should unite on the issue and speak to Saudis from a position of strength, demanding a thorough and immediate investigation.

    An independent probe conducted by US experts is needed because the kingdom has tried to change the narrative and has contradicted its previous statements, Blumenthal noted.

    READ MORE: 'Can Never Happen Again': Riyadh Vows Thorough Probe Into Khashoggi's Death

    The senator said the murder was planned by the crown prince to suppress free speech in the country.

    Trump said on Monday he was not satisfied with the explanation of the incident put out by the Saudi government. The president also told reporters that allowing one month for an investigation, as requested by Riyadh, would be too long.

    CIA Director Gina Haspel headed to Turkey late Monday to assist in the probe amid scrutiny over Prince Mohammed's involvement in the case, US media reported.

    Following more than two weeks of denials, Saudi Arabia admitted on Friday via state television that Khashoggi was killed in a brawl inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2. According to Riyadh, 18 people have been arrested over their involvement in the killing. Turkey is conducting a separate investigation into the journalist's death.


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