A US intelligence report has confirmed that it could be possible that the Saudi Crown price Mohammed bi Salman could have given approval to the killing of Washinton Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a report which is still believed to classified.
Following his death in October 2018, the CIA and other intelligence agencies had carried out investigations and the reports of their investigations is yet to be released.
Jamal Khashoggi was assassinated in October 2018 inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
It’s unclear how much detail the declassified version of the prince’s role in the murder will provide.
The decision to release the report, compiled by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, reflects the Biden administration’s determination to recalibrate relations with Saudi Arabia, the world’s largest oil exporter, amid tensions over its record of violations of human rights.
Before the report was released, Joe Biden spoke with King Salman of Saudi Arabia on Thursday about the journalist’s murder.
The US president also spoke about regional security and the renewed effort by the United States and the United Nations to end the war in Yemen.
And it also “reaffirmed the importance that the United States attaches to universal human rights and the rule of law,” the White House said in a statement.
Prince Mohammed has denied any involvement in the assassination while saying he accepts his symbolic responsibility as the de facto ruler of the country.
Saudi officials have said the killing was carried out by rogue officers who have since been prosecuted.
Ex-United States President Donald Trump has dismissed concerns about whether the crown prince approved of the assassination. “Maybe it did, maybe it didn’t,” he said, adding the economic benefits of selling arms to the Saudis.
His secretary of state, Michael Pompeo, said the United States “had no direct evidence” linking the prince to the murder and that Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, maintained a close working relationship with him.
The US intelligence report is not the only finding implicating the Saudi monarchy. A UN investigator, Agnes Callamard, has said that Khashoggi was the victim of a “state assassination” and has said there was little doubt that it was ordered at the highest levels of the Saudi government.
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