Saudi crown prince behind Khashoggi murder, says CIA
A CIA report has concluded that journalist and dissident Jamal Khashoggi was murdered under the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
ISTANBUL — A CIA report found that the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was ordered by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, despite Saudi Arabia's claims that he was not involved.
According to the Washington Post, there is no metaphorical "smoking gun" linking the prince to the murder, but officials believe that such an operation would not have happened without his awareness or involvement.
The CIA analyzed a phone call supposedly made at the command of the Saudi crown prince, in which Ambassador to the U.S. Khalid bin Salman tells Khashoggi to go to the consulate in Istanbul for his documents, assuring him it was safe to do so.
Audio from a listening device planted in the consulate indicates that just minutes after Khashoggi entered on October 2, he was attacked and killed, and later dismembered.
Maher Mutreb, a security official and one of the Saudi operatives, is then believed to have made a call to one of the crown prince's aides in Riyadh, informing him that the operation was complete.
Some members of the Saudi hit squad have also been linked to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, having served on his security team and traveled to the U.S. during official visits.
While the location of Khashoggi's body is still unknown, Reuters reports that the Turkish defence minister has said his dismembered corpse may have taken out of the country in luggage.
Saudi Arabia has offered several contradictory versions of what occurred, and now say an operation to abduct Khashoggi veered off course when he was restrained and injected with an overdose of a drug, which killed him.
The Saudi prosecutor's office has announced charges against 11 unidentified people, five of whom could face the death penalty. But U.S. officials say it's unclear if the Saudi government will in fact follow through with the punishment, and when.
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