Saudi Arabia has denied the claims
The CIA has concluded that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated in Istanbul on the orders of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The Saudi government, however, claimed that he was not involved in the killing.
US intelligence intercepted a phone call that the prince’s brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had with Khashoggi. Khalid told him it’s safe for him to go the Saudi consulate to get his documents, reported Washington Post.
The prince’s brother made the call on his directions, however, it is unclear whether he knew that Khashoggi would be killed.
Fatimah Baeshen, a spokeswoman for the Saudi Embassy in Washington, refuted the claims in CIA’s assessment and said the two never discussed “anything related to going to Turkey.”
The CIA’s assessment is also based on the analysis that the prince is a de facto ruler who looks after even minor affairs of the kingdom.
A US official familiar with the CIA’s conclusions said that “The accepted position is that there is no way this happened without him being aware or involved.”
He added that he is seen as a good technocrat but an arrogant and volatile leader as well. “He goes from zero to 60, doesn’t seem to understand that there are some things you can’t do,” he said. Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor has said in a statement on Thursday that the journalist was injected with a large amount of a drug resulting in an overdose that led to his death. He also called for the death penalty against five people but denied that the crown prince had any knowledge of the killing.
The slain journalist was a prominent critic of the crown prince’s policies. His murder has raised questions about the US reliance on the kingdom as an ally. Khashoggi, 59, was last seen entering the consulate on October 2 to obtain paperwork for his marriage to his Turkish fiancée.