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According to multiple reports from multiple news agencies the CIA confirms that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, 59. Despite these reports, Saudi Arabia has repeatedly denied that the crown prince had any role in this death.
Khashoggi, who died last month in a Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, was a contributor to the Washington Post of many editorials that revolved around the crown prince. He had gone to the consulate that day to pick up the necessary documents he needed in order to marry his Turkish fiancée.
The CIA’s conclusion was based on multiples pieces of intelligence. This information in particular includes a call from Saudi ambassador Khalid bin Salman, Mohammed’s brother, to Khashoggi. Over the span of the call Khalid bin Salman suggested Khashoggi to visit the consulate in Istanbul. Other pieces that support the CIA’s conclusion was the fact that multiple people of the 15-person team that flew to Turkey served the crown prince’s security team.
The final piece came from an unnamed official who spoke to The Wall Street Journal. Sharing information such as there was no “smoking gun” and that what the CIA has assessed is based off of “an understanding of how Saudi Arabia works.” The official also stated “This would not and could not have happened without the crown prince being involved.”
Even though the prince may be involved, it’s still unclear whether Khalid bin Salman knew that Khashoggi would be killed. A spokeswoman for the Saudi Embassy said that the prince and Khashoggi never discussed Turkey at all. That being said the CIA has been getting constant mixed messages around this event.
Take for example the statement that was tweeted on Friday.
It’s a series of audio recordings from the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul which revealed that Khashoggi was killed within “moments” upon arrival. However throughout the week the Saudi government has repeatedly changed the story revolving around Khashoggi’s death. There’s also the prosecutors office which stated that it was an official who tried to persuade Khashoggi to come to Saudia Arabia who ordered the killing instead of the prince. Khashoggi was then given a lethal injection before being dismembered and handed over to a “local collaborator.” This has some merit seeing as the body has yet to be recovered.
But despite the mixed messages, there is some form closure as the public prosecutor’s office of Saudi Arabia announced that they have indicted 11 people and five of them face the death penalty. Furthermore US officials announced sanctions against 17 officials of Saudi Arabia who were involved in the death of Khashoggi.