Saudi Crown Prince MbS ordered Khashoggi's assassination, CIA concludes

DAILY SABAH
ISTANBUL
Published 17.11.2018 00:00
Updated 17.11.2018 18:38
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud is seen during a meeting with U.N Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the United Nations headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. March 27, 2018. (Reuters Photo)
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud is seen during a meeting with U.N Secretary-General Antonio Guterres at the United Nations headquarters in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S. March 27, 2018. (Reuters Photo)

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordered the assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post reported late Friday.

"In reaching its conclusions, the CIA examined multiple sources of intelligence, including a phone call that the prince's brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had with Khashoggi, according to people familiar with the matter who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the intelligence," the Post said in a piece.

Khashoggi, a frequent contributor to The Washington Post, was killed Oct. 2 inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

After weeks of denying any involvement in the crime, Saudi Arabia later admitted that Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate but claimed the Saudi royal family had no prior knowledge of any plot to murder the journalist.

His body has yet to be returned to his family amid reports that it was chemically dissolved.

So far, Turkey has not accused anyone of directly ordering the killing, though President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has excluded King Salman from the possible suspects, who (the suspect) Turkey says is a high-level figure in Riyadh. Still, the case has brought near unprecedented international scrutiny on Saudi Arabia and its powerful crown prince, who Khashoggi had openly criticized.

Officials in Turkey have repeatedly called on the Saudi government to take responsibility and hold those responsible for the murder accountable.

President Erdoğan said Monday that Saudi Arabia knows that the killer is among the group of 15 people, who arrived in Turkey a day ahead of the killing.

On Nov. 4, The Wall Street Journal reported that al-Qahtani, known for his work for the crown prince as a social media adviser responsible for the smear campaign against dissidents, was both the planner and director of the killing.

​According to The Wall Street Journal, al-Qahtani is now under criminal investigation and was fired from his job as a media adviser.

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