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Saudi Arabia ‘completely rejects’ US report’s assessment on murder of Jamal Khashoggi

Published: Updated:

The Saudi government completely rejects the negative, false, and unacceptable assessment of the US intel report pertaining to the Kingdom’s leadership regarding the murder of the late Jamal Khashoggi, according to a statement published by the Kingdom’s Foreign Ministry.

“The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia completely rejects the negative, false and unacceptable assessment in the report pertaining to the Kingdom’s leadership, and notes that the report contained inaccurate information and conclusions,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

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“The Ministry reiterates what was previously announced by the relevant authorities in the Kingdom, that this was an abhorrent crime and a flagrant violation of the Kingdom’s laws and values. This crime was committed by a group of individuals that have transgressed all pertinent regulations and authorities of the agencies where they were employed,” the foreign ministry added.

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 statement added that the “relevant authorities in the Kingdom took all possible measures within our legal system to ensure that these individuals were properly investigated, and to ensure that justice was served. The concerned individuals were convicted and sentenced by the courts in the Kingdom, and these sentences were welcomed by the family of Jamal Khashoggi, may he Rest In Peace..”

The sons of the late Khashoggi said last May said that they have pardoned the killers of their father. A Saudi Arabian court in December 2019 sentenced five people to death for the murder of Khashoggi, and three others were sentenced to a total of 24 years in jail.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said the release of the US intelligence report was “truly regrettable” and that it included “wrong and unjustified conclusions.”

“It is truly unfortunate that this report, with its unjustified and inaccurate conclusions, is issued while the Kingdom had clearly denounced this heinous crime, and the Kingdom’s leadership took the necessary steps to ensure that such a tragedy never takes place again,” the statement read.

The Foreign Ministry said the Kingdom rejects any matter that would “infringes upon its leadership, sovereignty, and the independence of its judicial system.”

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirmed that the partnership between Saudi Arabia and the United States in its statement released on Friday.

“The Ministry of Foreign Affairs affirms that the partnership between the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and the United States of America is a robust and enduring partnership. This partnership has thrived for nearly eight decades on the basis of mutual respect, and the institutions in both countries have worked diligently to deepen these ties in all aspects, through increased cooperation and consultations to bolster security and stability in the region and the world. We look forward to maintaining the enduring foundations that have shaped the framework of the resilient strategic partnership between the Kingdom and the United States,” the foreign ministry said.

Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told CBS “60 Minutes” in 2019 that he takes “full responsibility” for the grisly murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi but denied allegations that he ordered it.

“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 at the time.