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The Saudi crown prince reportedly told an adviser in 2017 that he would use "a bullet" against journalist Jamal Khashoggi - a year before the outspoken critic of the kingdom was killed and dismembered.

The New York Times reported that according to its sources, described as "current and former American and foreign officials with direct knowledge of intelligence reports", the prince's conversations were routinely intercepted by US intelligence agencies.

The Trump administration declined Friday to submit a report to Congress determining whether Saudi Arabia's crown prince is personally responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. He has disputed the Central Intelligence Agency findings and said that he stands by the prince, noting that he "vehemently denies" any involvement. "That is not a recipe for reform in Saudi Arabia - and he needs to do something about that".

"Seeing as the Trump Administration has no intention of insisting on full accountability for Mr. Khashoggi's murderers, it is time for Congress to step in and impose real consequences to fundamentally re-examine our relationship with the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and with the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen", Sen. She did not point to any specific official.

On Thursday, an inquiry into the murder by the United Nations special rapporteur said evidence pointed to a brutal crime "planned and perpetrated" by Saudi officials, adding that Saudi officials had "seriously undermined" and delayed Turkey's investigation.

"For anyone to think that they can dictate what we should do, what our leadership should do, is preposterous", al-Jubeir told reporters.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, was killed on October 2 during a visit to his country's consulate in Istanbul to obtain paperwork ahead of his wedding to Hatice Cengiz.

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US President Donald Trump has reiterated the Saudi denials and countered the CIA's assessment, refusing to denounce MBS.

If true, the threat by the crown prince is a significant indication Khashoggi had become a preoccupying irritant.

UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Callamard, who is leading an worldwide human rights inquiry into the murder, visited Turkey between 28 January and 3 February.

The New York Times noted that the US National Security Agency (NSA) and other intelligence agencies were analyzing years of intercepted conversations of the Saudi prince in a bid to learn who was behind the murder of Khashoggi.

Ms Callamard also attacked Saudi Arabia's trial of 11 suspects in the case, saying it raises "major concerns" about transparency and fairness.

The Times called the new development the "most detailed evidence to date" that the Saudi crown prince saw murder as a way of dealing with Khashoggi.

When al-Qahtani, who USA intelligence says was the ringleader of the murder, warned the prince that targeting Khashoggi could create an global uproar, he was told Saudi Arabia should not care about worldwide reaction to how it deals with its own citizens.


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