US Senate passes motion blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman for Jamal Khashoggi's death

Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammad bin Salman and Jamal Khashoggi Credit: AP

The US Senate has passed a resolution saying Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Senators unanimously passed a resolution in a direct rebuke to the crown prince.

It calls for the Saudi Arabian government to “ensure appropriate accountability”.

It is unclear whether the House will consider the measure. Senators voted on it after President Donald Trump remained neutral on who is to blame for Mr Khashoggi’s death and praised the kingdom.

US intelligence officials have concluded that Mohammed bin Salman must have at least known of the plot.

Jamal Khashoggi enters the Saudi consulate in Turkey on the day of his death. Credit: TRT

Passage of the resolution came after senators passed a separate measure calling for the end of US aid to the Saudi-led war in Yemen.

The succession of bipartisan votes came two months after the Saudi journalist’s death at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and after Mr Trump persistently equivocated over who was responsible.

Senators made clear where they put the blame.

The resolution, passed by unanimous agreement, says the Senate believes the crown prince is “responsible for the murder” and calls for the Saudi Arabian government to “ensure appropriate accountability”.

Senators voted 56-41 to recommend that the US stop supporting the war in Yemen, a direct affront to the administration’s war powers abilities.

Frustration with the crown prince and the White House prompted several Republicans to support the Yemen resolution as a way to rebuke the long-time ally.

Others already had concerns about the war, which human rights groups say is wreaking havoc on the country and subjecting civilians, many of them children, to deadly disease and indiscriminate bombing.

Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, who co-sponsored the Yemen resolution with Republican Senator Mike Lee, called the vote a “historic moment”.

Mr Sanders said by acting, the Senate was making clear “that the constitutional responsibility for making war rests with the United States Congress”.