- The Crown Prince answered with a definite "no" to the question of whether he had ordered Khashoggi's murder.
- The trial of 11 suspects for the murder began in early January in Saudi Arabia.
- In June, the UN published a report directly blaming Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and called for more international sanctions against the Saudi monarchy.
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said he assumed “full responsibility” for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a critic of the regime, but denied ordering the murder. “This was a heinous crime but I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia especially because it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government,” the Crown Prince said in an interview with the US TV program 60 Minutes on Sunday.
The Crown Prince answered with a definite “no” to the question of whether he had ordered Khashoggi’s murder, and pointed out that the murder of the influential journalist in exile had been “a mistake.” On October 2 last year, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who lived in the United States, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to handle some documents needed to marry a Turkish citizen. The journalist did not leave the consulate again, where he was allegedly killed by Saudi agents, who left Turkey and returned to Saudi Arabia shortly after the murder.
The trial of 11 suspects for the murder began in early January in Saudi Arabia, and the attorney general requested the death penalty for five of them. To date, no one has been convicted. In June, the UN published a report directly blaming Prince Mohammed Bin Salman and called for more international sanctions against the Saudi monarchy and further investigations under the auspices of the international body.
Questioned on how the killings took place without his knowledge, the Crown Prince responded, “some think that I should know what 3 million people working for the Saudi government do daily?” The Crown Prince also referred to the September 14 attack on Saudi oil facilities claimed by the Houthi rebels, but which Riyadh believes was “unquestionably sponsored by Iran.” MBS said, “there is no strategic goal.” He added, “only a fool would attack 5% of global supply. The only strategic objective is to prove that they are stupid.” He called for “strong and firm action to stop Iran.”
Khashoggi, a critic of the Saudi regime, had been living in self-chosen exile in the United States for a year. He was a popular columnist with The Washington Post and was a welcome guest on many talk shows. He was previously close to the Saudi royal family, but he fell out of favor because of his repeated criticism of Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman.
Turkey says it has evidence that a 15-person death squad— which traveled specifically to Istanbul for the killing— killed Khashoggi in the consulate. They allege that the journalist was cut into pieces and smuggled out in diplomatic suitcases. The Saudis at first denied the allegations, but later on, seemed to be turning their backs and admitting that the journalist was killed by accident. To date, many questions still remain unanswered.