United States President Donald Trump
United States President Donald Trump

Trump vows 'severe punishment' if Saudis killed Khashoggi

ANI | Updated: Oct 14, 2018 08:03 IST

Washington DC [USA], Oct 14 (ANI): Signalling a stern warning to Saudi Arabia, United States President Donald Trump has said that Riyadh would be severely punished if they were involved in the possible murder of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Trump told CBS's '60 Minutes' that the administration "did not know yet" if Khashoggi was killed, adding that the situation "is being looked at very strongly". The interview is set to air on Sunday, The Hill reported.
"As of this moment, they deny it, and they deny it vehemently. Could it be them?" the US President added. Trump is facing growing coercion from the US opposition parties, who are calling for strict actions against Riyadh.
The strong comments by the US President came as Saudi Arabia is facing massive international pressure over Khashoggi's disappearance.
Turkey had claimed that they have "shocking evidence" that the senior scribe was killed and dismembered by a group of 15 men, who are considered to have close links with the Saudi government.
Khashoggi has been missing ever since cameras captured him going inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Hatice Cengiz, his fiancee, who was waiting outside the consul, had stated that she did not see him re-emerging from the building.
Most US intelligence officials believe that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman had carried out an operation to murder Khashoggi, who wrote a series of columns criticising the kingdom country's regime in The Washington Post.
On Saturday, Saudi Arabia's Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif vehemently refuted allegations against the state regarding Khashoggi's disappearance.
"The Minister of Interior affirmed the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia's condemnation and denunciation of the false accusations circulated in some media on the Saudi government and people against the background of the disappearance of the Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi," an official statement had said.
The release had further said the "baseless allegations" levelled against Saudi Arabia were "lies" and further mentioned that the state is "committed to its principles, rules and traditions and is in compliance with international laws and conventions".
Meanwhile, Trump said that he would call Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud to discuss the matter, adding that the "situation was not good". (ANI)