Pompeo says there’s no ‘direct’ connection between Khashoggi murder, Saudi crown prince

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The vote came after a briefing to senators by Trump administration officials in which Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said there was "no direct reporting" connecting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman to the murder of the journalist, and Defense Secretary James Mattis said there was "no smoking gun" making the connection.

"The murder of Mr Khashoggi is a crime of extreme gravity, which moreover goes against freedom of the press and the most fundamental rights", the French foreign ministry said in a statement at the time. "Their listing also renders them inadmissible to Canada pursuant to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act".

Canada joins France, the United States and Germany in imposing targeted sanctions related to the murder of the prominent Saudi journalist.

When asked why the government is not taking tougher action by halting the Saudi arms deal, the minister says Canada is still working with its allies to get answers.

A media release from Global Affairs Canada said these Saudis "are, in the opinion of the Government of Canada, responsible for or complicit in the extrajudicial killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on October 2, 2018".

Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland announced the sanctions on Thursday after arriving in Buenos Aires for the Group of 20 summit, which Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is also attending.

In a foreign policy address today, MA senator and potential 2020 contender Elizabeth Warren criticized Trump for his close-knit relationship with the Saudis despite the growing backlash against Riyadh in the wake of Jamal Khashoggi's murder.

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She says the federal government is reviewing its arms sales to Saudi Arabia, and adds while this review is underway no new export permits will be granted to the Kingdom.

G7 nations and other world leaders have called for an investigation into the journalist's death.

The Canadian sanctions target individuals alleged to be members of a Saudi hit squad that carried out the killing, as well as close aides of the prince.

It was unclear whether the French president was calling for an worldwide investigation beyond existing Turkish and Saudi probes.

Last month, a source in Macron's office said France would not make any decisions on its relationship with Saudi Arabia until the facts surrounding Khashoggi's death are clear.

"This case is not closed", she said.

In the face of that, Congress is set to vote on a war powers resolution this week, which would withdraw USA support for the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen, and is considering sanctions or other penalties for the kingdom.

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