Germany on Monday said it had initiated proceedings to prohibit 18 Saudis suspected of having a role in journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder from travelling into its territory and Europe’s Schengen passport-free zone, DW reported. Foreign Minister Heiko Maas said he had consulted with the United Kingdom and France before making the announcement.
Maas announced the decision on the sidelines of a meeting of European Union ministers in Brussels, AFP reported. “Berlin has decided that Germany should impose an entry ban on 18 Saudi citizens, who are presumed to be in connection with this deed, in the Schengen information system,” Maas told reporters. “We are in close coordination on this issue within the European Union.”
The Schengen area comprises 26 European countries without internal border control.
The minister said, “We still have more questions than answers in the Khashoggi case.”
Khashoggi, a vocal critic of the Saudi regime, went missing on October 2 when he was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for paperwork of his upcoming marriage. Saudi Arabia initially claimed to have no information about his disappearance but later admitted he was killed by agents working without Riyadh’s knowledge.
In October, Germany had said it would stop selling weapons to Saudi Arabia until all the details about Khashoggi’s death were “on the table”.
On November 15, Saudi Arabia said it had indicted 11 suspects for the murder and that prosecutors have sought the death penalty for five of the accused. The public prosecutor exonerated Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and instead accused two senior officials of giving the orders to murder Khashoggi. The United States then announced economic sanctions on 17 Saudis suspected of a role in the killing.