“It happened under my watch. I get all the responsibility, because it happened under my watch,” Mohammed bin Salman told PBS’ Martin Smith, according to a preview of a documentary, “The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia,” set to air on Oct. 1, ahead of the one-year anniversary of Khashoggi’s death.
A leaked UAE intelligence document shows Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has been pursuing a “strategic plan” aimed at weakening the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who has adopted a tough position against Riyadh over the state-sponsored assassination of dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Entitled “Monthly Report on Saudi Arabia, Issue 24, May 2019,” the confidential document was written by the Emirates Policy Centre and obtained by the Middle East Eye news portal. It revealed that bin Salman had decided to confront Turkey following the murder of Khashoggi — an outspoken critic of the heir to the Saudi throne — by a Saudi hit team inside the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on October 2, 2018. Ankara has been pressing the Saudis, in vain, to cooperate in a probe into the crime, which Erdogan says has been ordered by the highest ranks of authorities in Riyadh. The CIA has concluded that bin Salman had ordered the murder of Khashoggi — who had been brutally dismembered inside Riyadh’s mission. According to the leaked document, the Saudi scheme involves mounting pressure on Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s administration, slashing Saudi investment in Turkey and sidelining Ankara in issues of the Muslim world. The plan would use “all possible tools to pressure Erdogan’s government, weaken him, and keep him busy with domestic issues in the hope that he will be brought down by the opposition, or occupy him with confronting crisis after crisis, and push him to slip up and make mistakes which
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and other senior Saudi officials should be investigated over the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi since there is credible evidence they are liable for his death, a U.N. rights investigator said on Wednesday. Saudi Arabia’s minister of state for foreign affairs, Adel al-Jubeir, rejected the investigator’s report as “nothing new”. He added in a tweet: “The report of the rapporteur in the human rights council contains clear contradictions and baseless allegations which challenge its credibility.” Khashoggi’s killing provoked widespread disgust and damaged the image of the crown prince, previously admired in the West for pushing deep changes including tax reform, infrastructure projects and allowing women to drive. Agnes Callamard, the U.N. special rapporteur on extrajudicial executions, called on countries to invoke universal jurisdiction for what she called the international crime and make arrests if individuals’ responsibility is proven. In a report based on a six-month investigation, she also urged countries to widen sanctions to include the crown prince, who many consider the kingdom’s de facto ruler, and his personal assets abroad, until and unless he can prove he has no responsibility. Khashoggi, a critic of the prince and a Washington Post columnist, was last seen at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2 where he was to receive papers ahead of his wedding. His body was dismembered and removed from the building, the Saudi prosecutor has said, and his remains have not been found. “What needs to be investigated is the extent to
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s first trip abroad since the killing of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi will offer an early indication of the repercussions he faces from the gruesome slaying. The prince is visiting close allies in the Middle East before attending the Group of 20 summit in Argentina on Nov. 30, where he will come face to face with President Donald Trump, who has defended U.S. ties with the kingdom, as well as European leaders and Turkey’s president, who has kept pressure mounting on Riyadh since Khashoggi was killed and dismembered in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2. “It’s really going to be about can you travel to the rest of Western capitals for the foreseeable future and expect to sort of shake people’s hands, and I’m not sure that that’s the case,” said H.A. Hellyer, a scholar at the Royal United Services Institute and Atlantic Council. The trip, aimed at rebuilding his image and reinforcing ties with allies, promises to offer a contrast to the prince’s lengthy tour across the United States in April, where he met Michael Bloomberg, Rupert Murdoch, Disney chief Bob Iger, Google co-founder Sergey Brin, Apple’s Tim Cook and former President George H. Bush, among many others. “There’s no way he could do that sort of trip right now,” Hellyer said. The crown prince’s plan to attend the G-20 summit in Buenos Aires “tells me that he feels that he’s ridden out the storm, or that in order for him to