A declassified assessment by the office of the director of national intelligence (ODNI) in the United States (US) has linked Mohammed bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s crown prince, to the death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist.
Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident who was on exile in the US, was killed in October 2018 at the Saudi consulate in Turkey, where he had gone to get documents for his marriage to his Turkish fiancée.
He was reportedly dismembered by men alleged to have been sent by Saudi authorities.
The crown prince had, in the past, denied the royal family’s involvement in Khashoggi’s murder.
But the four-page intelligence report by the US held that the crown prince approved the killing of the exiled journalist.
The report, which was published on the ODNI’s website on Friday, also listed other individuals allegedly involved in the killing.
“We assess that Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi,” the report reads.
“We base this assessment on the Crown Prince’s control of decision-making in the Kingdom, the direct involvement of a key adviser and members of Mohammed bin Salman’s protective detail in the operation, and the Crown Prince’s support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad, including Khashoggi.
“Although Saudi officials had pre-planned an unspecified operation against Khashoggi, we do not know how far in advance Saudi officials decided to harm him.”
In December 2019, a Saudi Arabian court sentenced five men to death over Khashoggi’s death.
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