A US official said Wednesday that Saudi Arabia should domore to ensure accountability over the death of dissident writer JamalKhashoggi but stopped short of blaming the crown prince after a UN probe linkedhim to the killing.
Brian Hook, who is in charge of pushing President DonaldTrump's hawkish line on Iran, was asked about US support of Tehran's regionalrival Saudi Arabia as he testified before Congress.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo "has made it very clearthat we are determined to hold every single person materially responsibleaccountable," Hook said.
"The Saudi prosecutor has taken important steps towardaccountability for the tragic killing of Jamal Khashoggi but more needs to bedone," Hook said.
He did not directly respond to the question from DemocraticRepresentative Ted Lieu, who asked if the Trump administration shared thewidely reported view of the CIA that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman orderedthe killing.
The UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary orarbitrary executions, Agnes Callamard, earlier Wednesday said there was"credible evidence" that tied the powerful crown prince to thekilling.
Khashoggi, a US-based writer who annoyed the prince throughcritical columns in The Washington Post, was strangled to death and dismemberedafter entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to handle wedding paperwork,according to US and Turkish officials.
A number of US lawmakers have described the killing as aturning point in relations with Saudi Arabia and voiced outrage that the Trumpadministration has maintained its cozy relationship with the oil-rich kingdomand the prince.
Most recently, the administration defiantly approved USD 8.1billion in arms sales to Saudi Arabia and other Arab allies, citing risks fromIran to bypass the usual process of seeking a congressional green light.