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CIA concludes that Saudi Crown Prince ordered Khashoggi's assassination — Washington Post

US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) has concluded that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the assassination of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul, the Washington Post reported citing sources in the CIA.

"The CIA’s assessment, in which officials have said they have high confidence, is the most definitive to date linking Mohammed to the operation," the newspaper said citing people familiar with the matter. "In reaching its conclusions, the CIA examined multiple sources of intelligence, including a phone call that the prince's brother Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the United States, had with Khashoggi," the Washington Post added noting that "Khalid told Khashoggi <...> that he should go to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to retrieve the documents and gave him assurances that it would be safe to do so."

Saudi Arabia's Ambassador to the United States Prince Khalid bin Salman has denied telling journalist Jamal Khashoggi to go to Turkey. "The last contact I had with Mr. Khashoggi was via text on Oct 26 2017. I never talked to him by phone and certainly never suggested he go to Turkey for any reason," the ambassador wrote on his Twitter account. "I ask the US goverment to release any information regarding this claim," he added.

Khashoggi, known for his criticism of Saudi Arabia's policies, left his home country and moved to the United States in 2017. He worked for The Washington Post, analyzing the situation in Saudi Arabia and the country's foreign policy. On October 20, Saudi authorities announced that the journalist died in a fight in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said that the murder had been carefully planned. The international community condemned Khashoggi’s murder and called for a transparent investigation.

On November 14, Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu emphasized the need for an international investigation into Khashoggi’s murder.

On Thursday, the Saudi prosecution announced the results of its investigation, saying that 21 people had been detained and 11 were charged with involvement in the murder, five of whom could face the death penalty.

[Source: Itar Tass, Moscow, 17Nov18]

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