CIA Gives Verdict on Saudi Crown Prince Behind Khashoggi Murder: Reports
According to the US media reports on Friday, the US Central Intelligence Agency has concluded Saudi’s powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to be behind the Jamal Khashoggi murder.
Sources include that the CIA has found that the 15 Saudi agents had used the Saudi government airplane to fly to Istanbul, Turkey, to assassinate Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate.
However, the CIA itself has declined to comment on this news.
Jamal Khashoggi, a journalist, had previously gone missing at the Saudi consulate located in Turkey’s capital, Istanbul. He went to get documents necessary for his marriage with his Turkish fiancee.
Saudi Arabia, that dismissed any claims made by Turkey related to it being involved in the murder, has repeatedly changed its statements of the October 2 killing. First, the country denied knowing the whereabouts of Khashoggi, and later changing the statement to saying that he was killed during an argument with some Saudi officials.
According to the sources, the CIA scrubbed multiple sources and among them was a phone call between the prince’s brother and Khashoggi.
Khashoggi was repeatedly assured that he would be safe if he goes into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
A Saudi embassy representative, however, has said that Ambassador Khalid bin Salman has never “anything related to going to Turkey” with Khashoggi.
“Amb Prince Khalid bin Salman has never had any phone conversations with (Khashoggi). The claims in this purported assessment is false.” the ambassador’s posted on his Twitter account.
Meanwhile, the officials are saying that the US and Turkish intelligence are yet to find direct evidence which connects the prince to Khashoggi’s murder.
Regardless, the CIA verdict has not been successful in threatening the connection between Washington and Riyadh, which has decided to end the talks related to the murder of the journalist. Both of the countries have also rejected calls for an international probe.
On Thursday, the US Treasury put sanctions on 17 people, including close people of Prince Mohammed, and suggested harsher sanctions.