Saudi Public Prosecutor Admits Khashoggi Murder Premeditated
According to the state-run Saudi Press Agency, a public prosecutor statement said (i)information from the Turkish authorities indicates that the act of the suspects in the Khashoggi case was premeditated,” adding:
“The public prosecution continues its investigation with suspects…to complete the court of justice” – failing to lay blame where it most belongs, shielding crown prince Mohammad bin Salman (MBS), his clear culpability ignored, lesser officials blamed for what he ordered.
The above statement contradicts the kingdom’s original claim, saying Khashoggi’s killing was unintended and accidental during a botched interrogation, a clear fabrication.
Turkish and likely US intelligence have damning audio and perhaps video evidence showing how Khashoggi was brutally murdered – including MBS’ culpability.
On Thursday, the crown prince attended the first session of a committee tasked with restructuring Saudi intelligence in the wake of Khashoggi’s brutal murder.
Riyadh so far detained 18 people, dismissing five senior regime officials believed involved in the incident.
On Wednesday, Khashoggi’s eldest son Salah and family members were allowed to leave the kingdom, their travel ban lifted.
Salah holds dual US/Saudi citizenship, his destination so far unknown.
On Tuesday, he was shown shaking hands with MBS, his father’s assassin. The kingdom arranged a meeting with ruling family members, including king Salman – a public humiliation, not a conciliatory outreach by a regime notorious for ruthlessness.
Erdogan wants Saudis responsible for Khashoggi’s murder extradited to Turkey for prosecution and punishment. He rejects taking the case to the International Criminal Court.
MBS’ denial of responsibility for Khashoggi’s murder, pledging to seek justice, fooled no international community members.
An internal Saudi probe of the incident, if conducted, will be solely to cover up MBS’ culpability. A senior Turkish official was quoted saying:
“How should a real investigation in Saudi Arabia work when one of the main suspects is the crown prince MBS?”
“He is one of the suspects. Members of his royal guard were part of the killing squad. The US nor the rest of the world should really accept this.”
Bipartisan US House members introduced legislation, barring arms sales to the kingdom, along with related equipment, training, and intelligence sharing unless Trump can establish ruling family innocence in murdering Khashoggi.
The measure if brought to the floor of both Houses will go nowhere.
A two-thirds congressional vote is required to override a certain Trump veto if legislation gets to his desk, a highly unlikely possibility given longstanding US/Saudi relations.
Congress is currently in recess until after the November 6 midterm elections. By then, the furor over Khashoggi’s murder may have ebbed from its current state.
It depends on what more comes out from now to then, and whether publicly revealed incriminating evidence directly links MBS to the incident.
The likelihood is slim, given Trump regime hardliners wanting no change in bilateral relations.
Erdogan wants the incident milked for as much financial aid as possible he’s likely trying to extract from the kingdom – in return for not telling all he knows, especially nothing incriminating MBS directly.
My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”