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European Council president Donald Tusk warns EU against 'hypocrisy' over Khashoggi murder case

In a speech to the European Parliament, Tusk said he expected EU member states and institutions to avoid any "ambiguous game" over the murder of a critic of Saudi Arabia, a major Western ally.

Published: 24th October 2018 04:23 PM  |   Last Updated: 24th October 2018 04:33 PM   |  A+A-

European Council President Donald Tusk

European Council President Donald Tusk (File | AP)

By AFP

STRASBOURG: The EU must press for the full details in the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and avoid any "trace of hypocrisy," European Council President Donald Tusk warned Wednesday.

In a speech to the European Parliament, Tusk said he expected EU member states and institutions to avoid any "ambiguous game" over the murder of a critic of Saudi Arabia, a major Western ally.

Tusk may have been alluding to concerns that some in Europe would put financial or political interests ahead of pushing for the truth.

ALSO READ: US President Donald Trump calls Khashoggi murder 'worst cover-up in history' 

"This was such a horrible crime that even the slightest trace of hypocrisy would bring shame on us," Tusk told the MEPs and members of the European Commission, the 28-nation European Union executive. 

"It is not my role to state who wants to protect whose interests here but I know one thing: the only European interest is to reveal all the details of this case regardless of who is behind it," the former Polish premier said.

"Knowing your sensitivity and determination I believe that you will not allow for Europe, the member states or the institutions to become involved in any ambiguous game."

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has stopped short of pointing the blame at the Saudi leadership for the death of the Saudi insider-turned-critic.

But he said in a keynote speech on Tuesday that the murder was meticulously planned, demanding that all those involved brought to justice. He is sharing details with Saudi Arabia's biggest ally, the United States.

After 17 days of vehement denials, Saudi Arabia asserted Saturday that the journalist was killed in a "brawl and fist fight" inside a Saudi consulate in Istanbul –- without revealing the whereabouts of his body.

It fell on sceptical ears around the world. Saudi Arabia had previously roundly rejected allegations by Turkish officials that Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents who dismembered his body, insisting he had walked out of the consulate alive.

Analysts say Saudi Arabia's belated admission over Khashoggi's killing was aimed at shifting the responsibility away from the powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman.

The kingdom sacked two top aides to the crown prince as well three intelligence officials and arrested 18 Saudi suspects, in what some analysts called a scapegoating to quell global outrage.



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