The CIA, the US foreign espionage agency assessed with “high confidence” that the prince was behind the death of the Post columnist, the newspaper reported on Friday evening citing “people familiar with the matter.”
The Washington post tweeted their publication on November 16 thus:
The CIA has concluded that the Saudi crown prince ordered Jamal Khashoggi's assassination, people familiar with the matter say https://t.co/nJgpNJHW8h
— The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) November 16, 2018
Among the evidence examined by the CIA was a phone call between Khashoggi and the Saudi ambassador to Washington, Khalid bin Salman – the crown prince’s brother – who assured the journalist it was safe to go to the consulate, the Post reported. Ambassador bin Salman abruptly left Washington on October 11, and was not expected to return, according to reports by multiple media outlets, which were neither confirmed nor denied by Riyadh.
The CIA’s “purported assessment are false,” Fatimah Baeshen, a spokeswoman for the Saudi embassy in Washington, told the Post. “We have and continue to hear various theories without seeing the primary basis for these speculations.”
Despite Saudi Arabia initially denial. Turkey has continually accused the Saudi Royals of being behind the murder of Khashoggi, who was killed inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, where he was last seen on October 2.
It took series of exposures for Riyadh to admit the journalist had died on the premises, blaming it on a “fight” with officials sent to take him home. Khashoggi was living in self-imposed exile in Turkey, having become an outspoken critic of the crown prince.
Writing in the Post last month, Turkish president Recep Erdogan claimed that the order to have the dissident journalist killed “came from the highest levels of the Saudi government,” not naming the crown prince but seemingly implicating him.
Saudi Arabia will BEHEAD Khashoggi’s killer
Five Saudi officials are facing the death penalty after being accused of murdering journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Shalaan al-Shalaan, the kingdom’s deputy public prosecutor, revealed on Thursday that 21 people are in custody over the killing and charges have been brought against 11 of them.
Al-Shalaan requested the death penalty for five who ‘are charged with ordering and committing the crime and for the appropriate sentences for the other indicted individuals’.
But he exonerated Saudi’s de-facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman by laying ultimate blame for Khashoggi’s killing at the feet of two lesser officials.
Executions in Saudi Arabia are usually carried out publicly by beheading with a sword.