Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince warns against ‘exploiting’ Jamal Khashoggi’s murder
Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman Al Saud (MBS) has warned against “exploiting” the murder of former journalist Jamal Khashoggi for political gains.
The Prince’s remarks seen as a veiled attack on Turkey, whose ties with Saudi Arabia have become strenuous since the brutal killing of Khashoggi last October in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Al Jazeera reported.
Turkish officials were the first to report the murder and have continued to press Saudi Arabia for information on the whereabouts of his dismembered body, which is yet to be found.
“The death of Jamal Khashoggi is a very painful crime,” MBS told Saudi daily Asharq al-Awsat in an interview on Sunday.
He said: “Those accused of carrying out the crime are government officials” and the Kingdom is seeking to “achieve full justice and accountability, without getting distracted by positions taken by some for their own domestic considerations that are known to everyone.”
“Any party exploiting the case politically should stop doing so, and present evidence to the [Saudi] court, which will contribute to achieving justice,” he added.
The American intelligence has concluded that Khashoggi’s murder was likely ordered by MBS. The allegations have, however, been denied by Saudi Arabia.
Saudi prosecutors have acquitted the Prince, but around two dozen people implicated in the murder case are in custody, with death penalties sought against at least five of them.
Last year, US President Donald Trump had made it clear that Washington would not change relations with Riyadh against the rising condemnation of Saudi Arabia and vowed support for the Crown Prince.
President Trump had instead emphasised the importance of the United States’ strategic relationship with Saudi Arabia in the Middle-East.
UN’s special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, Agnes Callamard, leading an independent inquiry into the killing, in March, condemned what she called a lack of transparency in the legal proceedings and demanded an open trial.
The kingdom “is grievously mistaken if it believes that these proceedings, as currently constituted, will satisfy the international community,” she was quoted as saying.
Callamard’s report is expected to be released next week.
At the same time, the Saudi Prince had further admitted that the Kingdom was committed to “full justice and accountability” in the case, as he faces international pressure to punish the culprits.(ANI)