The CIA has concluded that the Saudi Crown Prince ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, the Washington Post reported on Friday, citing anonymous sources aware of the investigations.
This information leaked by the Washington Post, which regularly collaborated with Ryad’s critical journalist, contradicts the recent claims of the Saudi kingdom, which has completely cleared Mohammed bin Salman, nicknamed “MBS”.
Contacted by AFP, the US intelligence agency declined to comment.
To reach these claims, says the Washington Post, the CIA has examined several sources of intelligence, including a call between the brother of the powerful crown prince, also Saudi ambassador to the United States, and Jamal Khashoggi.
According to the Washington daily, Khalid bin Salmane advised Khashoggi to visit the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, assuring him that nothing would happen to him.
The paper adds that he made the phone call at the request of his brother, adding that it was not clear that Khalid bin Salman is aware that Mr. Khashoggi would then be murdered.
Khalid ben Salman quickly reacted on Twitter to these accusations, strongly denying the Washington Post’s allegations.
“This is a serious accusation that should not be left to anonymous sources,” he said, accompanying his tweet with a statement he said he had sent to the newspaper.
“At no time did Prince Khalid discuss anything with Jamal about a trip to Turkey,” he wrote.
The New York Times reports that US officials have warned that US and Turkish intelligence agencies have no clear evidence linking the powerful Crown Prince to Khashoggi’s assassination.
But according to the New York newspaper, citing officials, the CIA believes that the prince’s influence is such that the assassination could not have occurred without his approval.
Entered October 2 in the Saudi consulate of Istanbul, the journalist critic of power was assassinated.
Saudi Arabia has, on several occasions, changed its official version of what happened to Jamal Khashoggi once he crossed the door of the consulate.
The Saudi prosecutor admitted Thursday that the journalist was drugged and dismembered on the spot.
Out of a total of 21 suspects, he has now indicted 11 people who will be brought to justice. He requested capital punishment for five of them.
But Mohammed bin Salmane, nicknamed “MBS”, had no knowledge of the case, said at a press conference in Riyadh the spokesman of the Attorney General, Shaalan al-Shaalan.
Ryad’s historic ally, Washington on Thursday hastened to announce sanctions against 17 Saudi officials for their “responsibility or complicity” in killing Khashoggi.