CIA concludes Saudi crown prince ordered Khashoggi’s killing - Washington Post

The CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was responsible of the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month according to people familiar with the matter, the Washington Post reported on Friday.

The CIA’s conclusion contradicts the Saudi authorities claiming that the crown prince had no role in the murder of Khashoggi, who was living in self-exile in the United States and Turkey after Prince Mohammed came to power in 2017.

Saudi Arabia says the journalist was killed by lethal injection inside the country’s Istanbul consulate on Oct. 2 after a struggle, and his body was later dismembered by a team that were sent Istanbul to persuade Khashoggi to return to the kingdom.

Khashoggi was in the consulate to finalise divorce papers. 

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, the Washington Post said. 

Khalid, who made the call at his brother’s direction, advised Khashoggi to go to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to retrieve the documents and gave him assurances that it would be safe to do so, the Washington Post said.

The CIA’s “purported assessment are false. We have and continue to hear various theories without seeing the primary basis for these speculations,” the Washington Post quoted Fatimah Baeshen, a spokeswoman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington, as saying.

The CIA’s conclusion about Mohammed’s role was also based on the agency’s assessment of the prince as the country’s de facto ruler who oversees even minor affairs in the kingdom, the Washington Post said.
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