US Sanctions 17 Saudis for Alleged Role in Murder of WaPo Journalist

The U.S. Department of the Treasury announced new sanctions Thursday morning against 17 Saudi officials, all of whom were allegedly involved in the death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.

Among the 17 Saudi sanctioned was Saud al-Qahtani, a senior aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Others on the list of people sanctioned include the 15-man team that traveled to Turkey to carry out the operation, and the Saudi consul general in Istanbul, Turkey where the killing took place. 

"The Saudi officials we are sanctioning were involved in the abhorrent killing of Jamal Khashoggi.  These individuals who targeted and brutally killed a journalist who resided and worked in the United States must face consequences for their actions," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. "The United States continues to diligently work to ascertain all of the facts and will hold accountable each of those we find responsible in order to achieve justice for Khashoggi’s fiancée, children, and the family he leaves behind." 

The 17 individuals named by the Treasury Department are also the ones who have been publicly named and arrested by the Saudi government. The Saudi government's story about Khashoggi's death changed several times, after first denying any involvement. 

The sanctions imposed will freeze all assets for the men and block anyone in the U.S. from doing business with them. 

Saudi prosecutors announced Thursday that they would seek the death penalty for five people allegedly involved in the murder after charging 11 people. The five people facing capital punishment were directly involved in "ordering and executing the crime," Saudi prosecutors said. 

"The Government of Saudi Arabia must take appropriate steps to end any targeting of political dissidents or journalists," Mnuchin added. 

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