Lebanon’s Hariri hails Saudi effort on Khashoggi murder

By Wasim Saif al-Din

BEIRUT (AA) – Lebanese Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri on Tuesday hailed Saudi measures on the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi for “setting the course for justice”.

In a statement issued by his office, Hariri said King Salman’s instructions “will keep things in perspective and will respond to the malicious campaigns against the Kingdom”.

He said the Saudi actions came “within the framework that serves the path of justice and the disclosure of the whole truth”.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was last seen on Oct. 2 when he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

After days of denying to know his whereabouts, Saudi Arabia last week claimed Khashoggi died during a fight inside the consulate.

Saudi King Salman sacked the deputy of the intelligence service and a top aide and ordered the arrest of 18 suspects over the case.

On the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign minister admitted on Sunday that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi Consulate but argued that the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was “not aware" of it.

Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir claimed that it was a “rogue operation” by individuals who exceeded their responsibilities and later tried to cover things up.