Saudi Crown Prince Says 'Jamal Khashoggi Was Murdered Under My Watch'

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Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Salman bore the responsibility for the brutal murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, days after the release of audio transcripts.

Written By Aishwaria Sonavane | Mumbai | Updated On:

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MbS) said that he bears the responsibility for the killing of Jamal Khashoggi, considering it happened 'under his watch,' as per a PBC documentary to be broadcasted next week. The acknowledgment by the Kingdom's de facto ruler of the Washington Post columnist's murder comes days before to his first death anniversary on October 2 and months after backlash from the global community. 

Ever since the murder of Jamal Khashoggi inside the Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey's Istanbul, Mohammed bin Salman has refrained from acknowledging it, at least publicly, even as the CIA concluded that Crown Prince, himself, ordered the murder of the journalist who has been a vocal critic of the Royals. A claim that the Riyadh has strongly spurned. 

"It happened under my watch. I get all the responsibility because it happened under my watch," MbS said in the documentary scheduled to release on October 1.  When questioned how the Crown Prince was unaware of the murder, he defended saying, "We have 20 million people. We have three million government employees."

READ| 'Credible evidence' linking Saudi Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman to columnist Jamal Khashoggi's murder

Kingdom after Khashoggi's death

After initial denials, followed by altering narratives, the Saudi officials called the killing of the Kingdom's vocal critic, a 'rogue operation,' subsequent to which a cloaked trial was conducted inside the Kingdom, wherein 11 unnamed officials were charged by the Royal Court. Agnès Callamard, the UN Special Rapporteur on June 20 called the Kashoggi murder an 'international crime' further asserting that there was credible evidence to further probe the high-ranking Saudi officials, including the Crown Prince himself. 

Along with Istanbul, who was in the forefront to intensify pressure on the Kingdom, the enragement of the global community severely tarnished the image of ostensible 'reformer,' Mohammed bin Salman. US President Donald Trump, an ardent ally of the Kingdom, said that he is 'extremely angry' about the murder, but that nobody had "pointed a finger" at the Crown Prince.

"I am extremely angry and unhappy" about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi's consulate in Istanbul, Trump said. But "nobody has directly pointed a finger at the future King of Saudi Arabia", the US president added when asked about whether he raised the issue during a meeting with the royal.

READ| Jamal Khashoggi's murderers received training in United States, used electric saw to dismember him; report reveals

Audio transcripts of Jamal Khashoggi's murder

The journalist was murdered by a 15-people squad of Saudi officials inside the Saudi Arabian embassy in Turkey on October 2, when he went inside the consulate to get some documents. As per the transcripts made public by Turkey media, Khashoggi was drugged, before being his body was apparently cut into pieces.  

After he was drugged, Khashoggi was heard saying, "Do not keep my mouth closed. I have asthma. Do not do it, you will suffocate me." As per reports, a plastic bag was put over the journalist's head to eventually suffocate him to death. The audio transcript further described that noises of the journalist grappling and struggling could be heard while he was being stifled to death.

According to the Turkish media report, at 'exactly 1:39 p.m., the sound of an autopsy saw was heard. His body was dismembered, as per the transcript released on September 10. At some point in the audio evidence, Salah Mohammed Abdah Tubaigy, a renowned Saudi forensics doctor was heard saying, "I know how to cut well." "I normally put on my earphones and listen to music when I cut cadavers. In the meantime, I sip on my coffee and smoke. After I dismember it, you will wrap the parts into plastic bags, put them in suitcases and take them out," added.  

Even after almost a year of his death, Jamal Khashoggi's body was never found. 

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