US bars ex-Saudi diplomat in Turkey from entering US over Khashoggi murder

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The United States on Tuesday barred from entering the country Mohammed al-Otaibi, the former Saudi consul general in Istanbul in October 2018, when Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed there, the US State Department said.

“The murder of Jamal Khashoggi was a heinous, unacceptable crime,” the Department said in a statement.

Khashoggi was was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, where he was to receive papers ahead of his wedding. His body was reportedly dismembered and removed from the building, and his remains have not been found.

The killing caused a global uproar. Eleven Saudi suspects have been put on trial over his death in Riyadh.

“We will continue to seek all relevant facts, consult Congress, and work with other nations to hold accountable those involved in the killing,” the State Department said.

Al-Otaibi previously was the subject of a US asset freeze for his alleged role in Khashoggi’s death.

The designation also bars his family members from entering the United States.

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