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US issues sanctions on 17 Saudis over Khashoggi murder

Posted at 10:50 AM, Nov 15, 2018

The Trump administration on Thursday imposed penalties on 17 individuals over their alleged roles in the killing of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The fresh sanctions from the Treasury Department come hours after Saudi prosecutors said they would seek the death penalty for five people charged in the death of Khashoggi, who was a contributor to The Washington Post.

"The Saudi officials we are sanctioning were involved in the abhorrent killing of Jamal Khashoggi," said Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin in a statement. "These individuals who targeted and brutally killed a journalist who resided and worked in the United States must face consequences for their actions."

The secretary said the US government would work "diligently" to obtain all the facts on the death of Khashoggi and hold "accountable" any individual found responsible.

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

Mnuchin had previously told reporters it would be "premature" to discuss whether the US would impose sanctions on the Saudi government.

Earlier on Thursday, the Saudi Public Prosecutor's office said a total of 11 people were charged, adding that the five people facing capital punishment were directly involved in "ordering and executing the crime."

The prosecution also shared details of the journalist's murder, saying Khashoggi was killed on October 2 following "a fight and a quarrel" at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Prosecutors say Khashoggi was tied up and injected with an overdose of a sedative that killed him, then his body was chopped up and given to a local collaborator.