Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman is said to have asked the hit squad who assassinated Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to bring his dismembered fingers back to Riyadh, a Saudi activist said.
Renowned Saudi whistleblower Mujtahidd told Al-Khaleej Online news site that the assassination team carried Khashoggi’s fingers back to Riyadh at Bin Salman’s request, stressing that the prince followed up on the assassination before, during and after it had taken place.
According to Mujtahidd, the hit squad members received rewards ranging from between 2-5 million Saudi riyals ($0.53-$1.33 million) after the execution.
Khashoggi was murdered in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October.
A message captured in the audio record of the killing of Jamal Khashoggi is widely believed to be an instruction to notify the Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman that the operation to slay the Washington Post journalist had been carried out successfully.
In the recording, which Turkey has said was passed on to western allies, the comment “tell your boss” that the operatives had carried out their mission, is believed to be the strongest evidence connecting the Crown Prince, also known as MBS, to the murder of Khashoggi.
While the prince was not mentioned by name, American intelligence officials believe, reported by the New York Times, that “your boss” was a reference to Prince Mohammed. Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, one of 15 Saudis dispatched to Istanbul to confront Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate there, is reported to have made the phone call and spoke in Arabic to relay the message to “the boss” that the operation to kill Jamal was successful.
A former CIA officer also told the newspaper the comment strongly incriminates MBS. “A phone call like that is about as close to a smoking gun as you are going to get,” Bruce Riedel, who now works at the Brookings Institution, told the Times. “It is pretty incriminating evidence,” he added.
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