Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad Bin Salman Accepts Khashoggi’s Murder Happened under His Watch
The death of the journalist, sparked a global uproar, which is also tarnished the progressive image of the Prince and his imperiling ambitious plans to diversify the economy of the world’s top oil exporter and modernisation of the Saudi society.
Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia Mohammad Bin Salman has finally agreed and said he bears the responsibility for the killing of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year by the Saudi operatives. According to a PBS documentary, which is scheduled to broadcast in the coming week, the crown prince said he accepts Khashoggi’s murder, “because it happened under my watch”.
The Saudi Kingdom’s de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman, has never spoken publicly before about the gruesome killing of the Journalist, inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. Though some western governments and CIA have said he ordered the killing, but Saudi officials clearly said time and again that he has no role in it.
The death of the journalist, sparked a global uproar, which is also tarnished the progressive image of the Prince and his imperiling ambitious plans to diversify the economy of the world’s top oil exporter and modernisation of the Saudi society. He has not visited the United States or Europe since.
According to a preview of the documentary named “The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia”, the young prince told Martin Smith of PBS, “It happened under my watch. I get all the responsibility, because it happened under my watch”. The Documentary is set to go on air on October 1, ahead of a year anniversary of Khashoggi’s death.
After initial denials by Saudi Arabia, Saudi official later blamed the murder on some rogue operatives. The public prosecutor also said the then deputy intelligence chief ordered the repatriation of Khashoggi, a royal insider who later became an outspoken critic.
Reuters also reported a former top royal adviser, Saud al-Qahtani gave orders to the killers over Skype, who briefed the hit team on Khashoggi’s activities before the operation.
When asked how the killing could happen without him knowing about it, PBS’s Smith quotes Prince Mohammed as saying, “We have 20 million people. We have 3 million government employees”.
The crown prince responded to the question, whether the killers have taken private government jets, “I have officials, ministers to follow things, and they are responsible. They have the authority to do that”. Smith describes the exchange between him and the crown prince apparently took place off camera, in the preview of the documentary.
In June this year, a senior US administration official told Reuters that Trump administration is pressing Riyadh for tangible progress toward holding them accountable for the killing. So far, eleven Saudi suspects have been put on trial in a secret proceeding and only a few hearings have been held so far. A UN report also called for an investigation for Prince Mohammed and other senior Saudi officials.
Jamal Khashoggi was a Washington Post columnist. He was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2nd October 2018, where he went to receive the papers ahead of his wedding. His body was reportedly dismembered inside the consulate and later removed from the building. His remains have not been found yet.
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