By Servet Gunerigok
WASHINGTON (AA) - US House of Representatives Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff said Friday he asked the new head of national intelligence to release an unclassified report on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In a letter addressed to Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Avril Haines, the Democrat from the state of California called the murder in Istanbul "brutal" and "premeditated."
"For a year the [former President Donald] Trump Admin refused to make public an unclassified report on Saudi Arabia's culpability. I have asked Director Haines to declassify this report. There must be accountability and justice," Schiff said in a tweet in which he included a copy of the letter.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and US resident, was assassinated inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 after being lured there by Saudi officials to receive legal documents he needed to marry.
The CIA reportedly concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered Khashoggi's murder. But Trump resolutely shielded bin Salman from facing consequences for the killing, including blocking the intelligence agency's assessment from being handed to lawmakers.
"The importance of speaking the truth and confronting the powerful over their misconduct is at the heart of bipartisan concerns over the year-long delay in ODNI’s production of an unclassified report to Congress regarding Saudi Arabia’s culpability," said Schiff.
During her Senate confirmation hearings earlier this week, Haines committed to providing Congress with the unclassified report on the brutal murder.