The US secret service CIA assumes that Saudi Arabia’s crown prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered the killing of anti-government journalist Jamal Khashoggi. The reported „Washington Post“. And official America has responded promptly: „The US is determined to hold to account all those responsible for this killing,“ said US Vice President Mike Pence on the sidelines of the Asia-Pacific Economic Forum (APEC) in Papua New Guinea.
According to the Washington Post, the CIA, after evaluating several sources, concluded that 15 Saudi Arabian agents flew to Istanbul on a government machine and killed Kashoggi in their country’s consulate. Earlier, the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the US, Crown Prince Mohammed’s brother Khalid bin Salman, had assured Khashoggi that there was no danger in obtaining papers for his wedding at the Istanbul Consulate.
Saudi ambassador denies on Twitter
Khalid bin Salman dismissed the Washington Post report on his phone call with Khashoggi. „This is a serious accusation that should not be left to anonymous sources,“ he wrote in the short message service Twitter, adding a message to his message. A spokesman assured Khalid bin Salman „never had a phone call“ with Khashoggi.
According to the Washington Post, the ambassador made the call at the request of the Crown Prince. It was unclear, however, whether the diplomat had been informed about the murder plans. The CIA refused to comment on the Washington Post report at the request of AFP.
The New York Times noted that the CIA has no real evidence in hand. The newspaper said the CIA allegations against Prince Mohammed were also based on calls from the task force that killed Khashoggi, with high-ranking employees of the Crown Prince. From the recordings it is clear that Prince Mohammed Khashoggi wanted to lure back to Saudi Arabia. But he did not claim to kill the government critic.
The crown prince rules in Saudi Arabia
Khashoggi, who most recently worked as a Washington Post columnist, disappeared on October 2 after entering the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul. After weeks of denials, Saudi Arabia, under international pressure, finally admitted that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, but this was initially presented as a result of a dispute. It was only later that Riad indirectly admitted that Khashoggi had been „deliberately“ killed.
According to the Washington Post, according to the CIA, Crown Prince Mohammed is the „de facto ruler“ in Saudi Arabia. It was therefore a generally accepted assessment of the Khashoggi murder, „that there was no way that this happened without his knowledge or involvement,“ the newspaper quoted a US representative. Prince Mohammed is indeed a „good technocrat“, but at the same time an unpredictable ruler.
As late as Thursday, the Riyadh public prosecutor had acquitted the Crown Prince of the suspicion, many of which had been raised internationally, that he had ordered the murder. A spokesman for the agency said that the „head of the negotiating team“ who had flown to Istanbul for use had ordered the killing of Khashoggi.
21 suspects detained in Riyadh
According to the official statement, a 15-member task force was said to have moved Khashoggi to return from exile to Saudi Arabia. The operation was degenerated into violence. The Washington Post columnist was drugged, killed and cut at the consulate of the kingdom, prosecutors said.
According to Riyadh, 21 suspects are now being detained, eleven of whom are being charged. Fives who have „ordered and committed the crime“ are being charged with the death penalty, prosecutors said.
The US government has sanctioned 17 current and former government employees of the kingdom over Khashoggi’s violent death. However, US President Donald Trump did not blame the de facto ruler of his important ally in the Middle East.