By Ahmet Salih Alacaci
ANKARA (AA) – The European Parliament on Thursday urged an “independent and impartial” international probe of the Oct. 2 death of Jamal Khashoggi, also warning that targeted sanctions could be imposed if Saudi agents are found guilty in his death.
In a non-binding resolution, the EP condemned “in the strongest possible terms” the reported torture and killing of the journalist at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
It also called for those responsible to be “identified and brought to justice,” and for EU member countries to “stand ready to impose targeted sanctions” if Saudi agents are found culpable in Khashoggi’s death.
The motion listed visa bans and asset freezes as possible sanctions against both Saudi individuals and the kingdom, insisting that any sanctions target not only the perpetrators but also the masterminds and inciters “of this crime.”
A columnist for The Washington Post, Khashoggi was last seen on Oct. 2 when he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
After days of denying any knowledge of his whereabouts, Saudi officials last week admitted that the journalist had been killed inside the consulate.
Separately, Saudi Crown Prince Mohamad bin Salman on Thursday chaired a meeting of a newly created committee tasked with restructuring the Saudi intelligence apparatus, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.
Amid the ongoing furor over Khashoggi’s death, Saudi King Salman has sacked the deputy head of the Saudi intelligence agency — and a top aide — while also ordering the arrest of 18 suspects in the case.
World leaders, meanwhile, continue to urge the Saudi authorities to clarify the circumstances of the journalist’s killing.