The CIA has concluded that the powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman is behind the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, US media reported on Friday, citing people close to the case.
The US investigation directly contradicts the findings of a Saudi prosecutor, who exempted the prince from involvement in the brutal murder.
But the Washington Post, which published the article, said the CIA had discovered that 15 Saudi agents had flown from the government to Istanbul and had assassinated Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate.
Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post reporter, disappeared after visiting the Saudi consulate on October 2 to obtain documents for his marriage.
In his opinion articles, Khashoggi was very critical of the policies of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Riyadh’s intervention in the war in Yemen.
“It has become the rule by one man,” Khashoggi told FRANCE 24 in an interview last year. Mohammed bin Salman has control of everything. It creates a climate of intimidation and fear. The Saudis are silenced. This is not the recipe for reform in Saudi Arabia – and it must do something about it. “
Saudi Arabia – which quickly rejected the CIA’s findings – has repeatedly changed its official statement on the killing, denying first of all the knowledge of Khashoggi’s whereabouts and later claiming he had was killed when an argument degenerated into a fight.
In the latest version presented on Thursday, the Saudi prosecutor claims that a team of 15 people responsible for bringing back Khashoggi from Istanbul had ended up killing him before dismembering his body.