THE CIA has concluded that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman personally ordered the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, despite the Saudi government’s denials that the prince was not involved, according to The Washington Post.
The CIA’s conclusion is based on a recording provided by the Turkish government and other evidence, including American intelligence, among them a phone call between the prince and his brother who is the US ambassador to the United State, the senior US official told CNN on Friday.
The ambassador, reportedly acting on the order of the prince, told the late journalist that he would be safe to go to the consulate in Istanbul and get divorce papers he applied for, in order to complete marriage procedure with his Turkish wife.
US intelligence officials also believe an operation such as the one leading to Khashoggi’s death would not have happened without the knowledge of bin Salman.
The CIA’s disclosure is the most categorical statement linking the crown prince to the killing.
But a Saudi Embassy spokeswoman has described claim in the CIA’s assessment as false.
“We have and continue to hear various theories without seeing the primary basis for these speculations.”
President Trump who has described Saudi Arabia as “spectacular ally” is yet to make comment on the report.
Khashoggi was a contributing columnist with The Washington Post before his assassination in October 2 at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey by a 15-man gang.