Saudi Arabia rejects US intel report on Khashoggi demise

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Ministry of International Affairs says US intel claiming MBS authorised the hit on Khashoggi is ‘adverse, false and unacceptable’.

Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of International Affairs has rejected a report by US intelligence businesses launched on Friday that assigns accountability to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi.

“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia utterly rejects the adverse, false and unacceptable evaluation within the report pertaining to the Kingdom’s management and notes that the report contained inaccurate info and conclusions,” the International Ministry mentioned in an announcement issued by the Saudi Press Company.

The US intelligence neighborhood report, produced by the US Workplace of the Director of Nationwide Intelligence, confirms that US spy businesses had concluded MBS “authorised an operation” to seize or kill the Saudi journalist in Istanbul, Turkey.

Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a Saudi hit squad contained in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His physique has by no means been recovered.

“This was an abhorrent crime and a flagrant violation of the Kingdom’s legal guidelines and values,” the ministry assertion mentioned.

“This crime was dedicated by a gaggle of people which have transgressed all pertinent rules and authorities of the businesses the place they have been employed,” the assertion mentioned.

“The involved people have been convicted and sentenced by the courts within the kingdom and these sentences have been welcomed by the household of Jamal Khashoggi.”

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks throughout a information convention on December 15, 2014, in Manama, Bahrain [File: Hasan Jamali/AP Photo]

The four-page US report, required by Congress, had been held again from public view by former President Donald Trump however was launched by new President Joe Biden who had pledged throughout his 2020 political marketing campaign to carry the Saudis accountable for Khashoggi’s homicide.

US spy businesses, together with the CIA, based mostly their evaluation of MBS’s function on his “management of determination making” and the “direct involvement of a key adviser” and members of his “protecting element” within the operation.

Saudi Arabia has lengthy denied MBS had direct data of Khashoggi’s homicide.

After the report’s launch on Friday, the Biden administration officers introduced journey bans on 76 Saudi nationals and imposed monetary sanctions on Saudi Main Common Ahmad Hassan Mohammad Asiri, an in depth confidant of MBS.

“It’s actually unlucky that this report, with its unjustified and inaccurate conclusions, is issued whereas the dominion has clearly denounced this heinous crime, and the Kingdom’s management took the required steps to make sure that such a tragedy by no means takes place once more,” the Saudi assertion mentioned.

“The Kingdom rejects any measure that infringes upon its management, sovereignty, and the independence of its judicial system.”

Requested in regards to the Saudi denial of the report’s findings, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken mentioned in Washington “the report speaks for itself” and the Biden administration is “making an attempt to deliver transparency to this subject and share with the American individuals what we all know”.

The dominion had given “multi-million-dollar homes” and “month-to-month five-figure funds” to Khashoggi’s 4 kids, based on a 2019 report by The Washington Post, the US newspaper the place Khashoggi had been a columnist.

Khashoggi wrote in his final column earlier than he was killed in regards to the want for a free press within the Arab world.

“A state-run narrative dominates the general public psyche, and whereas many don’t consider it, a big majority of the inhabitants falls sufferer to this false narrative,” Khashoggi mentioned.

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