Saudi Crown Prince says Khashoggi murder a ‘heinous crime,’ takes responsibility
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said that he takes “full responsibility” for the grisly murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi but denied allegations that he ordered it.
“This was a heinous crime,” the Crown Prince told CBS “60 Minutes” in an interview that aired Sunday. “But I take full responsibility as a leader in Saudi Arabia, especially since it was committed by individuals working for the Saudi government.”
“When a crime is committed against a Saudi citizen by officials, working for the Saudi government, as a leader I must take responsibility. This was a mistake. And I must take all actions to avoid such a thing in the future,” he said.
Khashoggi was murdered on October 2, 2018, after a fistfight broke out at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor had said at the time. He was visiting the consulate to complete paperwork related to his divorce.
At the time, Saudi Arabian authorities arrested 18 Saudis for investigation in connection with events surrounding Khashoggi’s murder.
The Kingdom’s public prosecutor in January had asked for the death penalty for five of the suspects held over the murder, according to the state news agency SPA.
“Some think that I should know what three million people working for the Saudi government do daily,” the Crown Prince told “60 Minutes.”
‘‘It’s impossible that the three million would send their daily reports to the leader or the second-highest person in the Saudi government.”
When prompted by CBS’ Nora O’Donnell regarding the CIA reports of his involvement in Khashoggi’s murder, the Crown Prince said he hoped information would be brought forward.
“If there is any such information that charges me, I hope it is brought forward publicly,” he said.
“There is no threat from any journalist. The threat to Saudi Arabia is from such actions against a Saudi journalist. This heinous crime, that took place in a Saudi consulate,” Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said.