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Riyadh faces `serious consequences` if Khashoggi murder claims true: UK

photo by AP photo

Jamal Khashoggi\'s vanishing has captivated the world and threatened to harm Turkish-Saudi relations

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13th-Oct-2018       
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A FP,  London  :
Britain's foreign secretary on Thursday warned that Saudi Arabia faces "serious consequences" if the suspicions of Turkish officials that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul turn out to be true.
"People who have long thought of themselves as Saudi's friends are saying this is a very, very serious matter.
"If these allegations are true, there will be serious consequences because our friendships and our partnerships are based on shared values," Jeremy Hunt told AFP.
"We are extremely worried," he said.
Hunt said he had spoken to Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and had told him "how very, very concerned the United Kingdom is". Britain is a close ally and trade partner of Saudi Arabia. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has urged Saudi Arabia to release footage of Khashoggi and President Donald Trump has demanded answers over his fate, as the kingdom faces growing pressure to provide a convincing explanation for his disappearance.
The Washington Post, the daily to which Khashoggi was a contributor, added to the mystery by reporting Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had ordered an operation to "lure" the critical journalist back home.
Khashoggi has not been seen since October 2 when he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain official documents for his upcoming marriage. Turkish officials quoted in media have said he was killed but Riyadh denies that.
The mystery has captivated the world but also threatens to harm brittle Turkish-Saudi relations and hurt efforts by the crown prince to improve the image of his country with a reform drive.
Meanwhile, The U.S. Supreme Court with new Justice Brett Kavanaugh issued two decisions on Thursday that helped clear the way for Tennessee to execute an inmate convicted of murdering two men in 1983.
Edmund Zagorski, 63, had been set to be executed on Thursday but a few hours before the Supreme Court's decision Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam granted a 10-day reprieve to allow the case to wind itself through the courts and to consider the inmate's request to be put to death by electrocution.
Kavanaugh's name was not on the Supreme Court's two decisions that were offered without elaboration, so it was not clear how the conservative justice voted in what was likely his first ruling in his new post. Liberal justices Stephen Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor dissented in both decisions.
In its first decision, the court denied a request to hear a case brought by Zagorski and other Tennessee death row inmates over the state's lethal injection drug protocol. The mix includes a compound used in flawed executions in Oklahoma and Arizona where witnesses said inmates twisted in pain on death chamber gurneys as drugs to halt breathing and cause cardiac failure took effect.
"The longer we stand silent amid growing evidence of inhumanity in execution methods like Tennessee's, the longer we extend our own complicity in state-sponsored brutality," Sotomayor wrote.
Lawyers for Zagorski said he believed that compared to the state's lethal injection mix, the electric chair would be a less painful option.
The Supreme Court also lifted a U.S. appeals court decision from a day earlier to temporarily halt the execution after the current lawyers for Zagorski argued his initial trial lawyers failed to adequately defend him at his murder trial and sentencing.
Zagorski was convicted of murdering John Dale Dotson and Jimmy Porter in a drug deal and stealing the money they had on them to purchase a large quantity of marijuana, court documents showed.
Brett Kavanaugh spent a collegial first day on the bench as a U.S. Supreme Court justice on Tuesday that contrasted sharply with the venom of his confirmation process, taking an active role in arguments alongside his eight new colleagues.
The bitterly divided Senate voted 50-48 on Saturday to confirm Kavanaugh, with just one Democrat supporting him. Kavanaugh's confirmation gave the Republican president a political victory ahead of crucial Nov. 6 congressional elections.

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