Saudi crown prince had threatened to use 'bullet' on Khashoggi - NY Times


Saudi Arabia's crown prince told a senior aide he would go after Jamal Khashoggi "with a bullet" a year before the dissident journalist was killed inside the kingdom's Istanbul consulate, the New York Times reported yesterday quoting United States intelligence.

Khashoggi's murder has put the spotlight on Saudi Arabia's powerful crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, who has been accused of ordering the journalist's assassination.

USA intelligence agencies believe Crown Prince Mohammed ordered an operation to kill Khashoggi, and say his body was dismembered and removed to a location still publicly unknown.

A prominent Saudi journalist and Washington Post columnist, Khashoggi was murdered shortly after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October.

"While Saudi Arabia is a strategic ally, the behavior of the crown prince - in multiple ways - has shown disrespect for the relationship and made him, in my view, beyond toxic", Graham said.

"The murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the sheer brutality of it has brought irreversible tragedy to his loved ones", said Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions.

The rapporteur's final report is scheduled to be presented in June before the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva, but is expected to be published a few weeks earlier, in late May.

"We will continue to consult with the Congress and work to hold accountable those who are responsible for Jamal Khashoggi's killing", Palladino told reporters, declining to say if more action would be forthcoming.

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However, Callamard said Turkish attempts to promptly investigate Khashoggi's killing were thwarted by Saudi Arabia, which provided "woefully inadequate time and access" to the crime scene.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives for the Gulf Cooperation Council's (GCC) Summit in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia December 9, 2018.

"I have requested an official country visit to Saudi Arabia so that the authorities there can directly provide me with relevant evidence", she wrote.

But Trump has publicly said that he is not concerned whether Crown Prince Mohammed was involved in Khashoggi's killing, saying the Saudi alliance benefits Washington due to the kingdom's major purchases of weapons and its hostility to regional rival Iran.

A Saudi public prosecutor's spokesman said late past year that 11 Saudis had been indicted and referred for trial over the case, with authorities seeking the death penalty for five.

"The murder of Jamal Khashoggi and the sheer brutality of it has brought irreversible tragedy to his loved ones".

"It is also raising a number of worldwide implications which demand the urgent attention of the global community, including the United Nations".

The Saudi government has also disputed the Central Intelligence Agency assessment's that MBS ordered the killing.