US intelligence reporters say Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has approved of the 2018 killing of exiled Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
In a report published by the Biden administration, it is stated that Prince Khashoggi approved of his arrest or assassination plot.
The United States has declared sanctions against dozens of Saudis, but not the prince himself.
Saudi Arabia rejected the report as negative, false and unacceptable.
Crown Prince Mohammed, who effectively ruled the state, denied any involvement in the murders.
Khashoggi went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and his body was dissected.
The 59-year-old journalist was once an adviser to the Saudi government and close to the royal family, but fell out of favor and went into self-exile in the United States in 2001.
From there he wrote a monthly column in the Washington Post in which he criticized Prince Mohammed’s policies.
We have determined that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul to arrest or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the US National Intelligence Director reported.
The crown prince was the son of the Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and was considered the effective ruler of the kingdom.
The report states those responsible for or related to Kaşıkçı’s death. However, he said, we didn’t know how long ago those involved were planning to harm him.
Saudi authorities held responsible for the murders by a group of agents sent to repatriate the journalist, and a Saudi court sentenced five people to 20 years in prison after they were initially sentenced to death in September.
In 2019, UN special envoy Agnieszka Colmard accused the Saudi state of deliberately executing Khashoggi and denied Saudi justice because it was unfair.
Shortly after the report was published, US Secretary of State Anthony Blinken announced travel bans, including the Khashoggi ban.
He said he believes the targets were directly involved in lethal, extrajudicial anti-government activities.
He warned that targeting the dissatisfaction felt by any foreign government should not allow it to reach American soil.
In addition, the Treasury Department gave the Crown Prince part of his entourage: one of his closest friends, former Deputy Chief of Intelligence Ahmed Asiri, and the personal security forces involved in the assassination.
As of 2018, the CIA believed that the Crown Prince had ordered the assassination, but US officials have yet to openly claim that he was involved.
Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, is an important American ally in the Middle East.
US President Joe Biden is expected to take a stronger stance on human rights and the rule of law in Saudi Arabia than his predecessor Donald Trump.
In a telephone conversation with King Salman on Thursday, the White House said the president reaffirmed the importance of the United States to universal human rights and the rule of law.
The Biden administration is also considering canceling an arms deal with Saudi Arabia, raising human rights concerns and limiting future military defense weapons sales, Reuters reported.
Rejecting the US report, the Saudi State Department stressed that those responsible for the crime were properly investigated and justice was administered.
It is truly unfortunate that this report was published in an unreasonable and erroneous manner, despite the Kingdom’s public condemnation of this heinous crime and the Kingdom’s leadership taking the necessary steps to prevent such an accident from happening again.
It also denied any action that violates its leadership, sovereignty, and judicial independence.
The public crime of Mohammed bin Salman is a tremendous reprimand, but so far he has evaded sanctions despite calls from activists, Democrats at the Congress and UN Special Rapporteur Agnes Kellermard.
The carefully adjusted steps reflect the fine line President Biden drew: He wants to fulfill his promise to hold Saudi Arabia responsible for human rights violations, but also wants to maintain relations with the state as it plays a central role. Eastern issues such as ending the war in Yemen, reunifying Iran, combating Islamist extremism and advancing Arab-Israeli relations are important to the United States.
However, the president has made it clear that he will not have direct contact with Prince Mohammed, unlike his predecessor Donald Trump.
Instead, Mr. Biden works with his father, King Salman.
Khashoggi went to the consulate in October 2018 to obtain permission to marry his Turkish fiancee.
He received assurances from the Crown Prince’s brother, Prince Khalid bin Salman, that he was an ambassador in the United States at the time that it would be safe to visit the consulate. Prince Khalid denied any contact with the journalist.
According to Saudi prosecutors, Khashoggi was forcibly seized after the fight and given large amounts of drugs, which caused him to die from an overdose.
Prosecutors said his body was later dismembered and handed over to a local aide outside the consulate. Remains were never found.
Details were published in a written report on the audio recording of the murders obtained by Turkish intelligence.