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Saudi Arabia's crown prince flat denied knowing about the Khashoggi murder, an excuse the UN said is 'inconceivable'

Sahar Esfandiari , Business Insider US
 Oct 01, 2019, 08:16 AM
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told "60 Minutes" on Sunday night that he takes "full responsibility" for journalist Jamal Khashoggi's murder.
  • Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman said he was not aware of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, a claim the UN has previously called "inconceivable."
  • In an interview with PBS, the crown prince accepted some responsibility for Khashoggi's killing, but said he did not know about it until after it happened.
  • Following international outrage over Khashoggi's murder, the UN conducted an investigation which found that "high level officials" planned, supervised and authorised the mission.
  • "Every expert consulted finds it inconceivable that an operation of this scale could be implemented without the Crown Prince being aware," the UN report, published in June, said.
  • For more stories go to www.businessinsider.co.za.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says he was not aware of the murder of Jamal Khashoggi until after it happened, a claim the UN previously called "inconceivable."

Speaking in an interview with PBS' Martin Smith, the crown prince spoke publicly about the killing of Khashoggi for the first time.

He acknowledged indirect responsibility, saying: "It happened under my watch. I get all the responsibility because it happened under my watch."

However, Bin Salman maintained that he was not aware of the operation at any point before it was carried out.

When questioned on how it could have happened without him knowing about it, the crown prince told Smith: "We have 20 million people, we have three million government employees."

"I have officials, ministers to follow things, and they're responsible."

The interview is part of a documentary about the crown prince, which is due to be released on October 1st. You can see a short clip from the documentary below:

Global outrage over Khashoggi's killing at the Saudi consulate in Turkey last year led to a UN report into his death, which found that he was likely drugged with sedatives and suffocated with a plastic bag.

The UN investigation, published in June this year, found that "high level officers planned, supervised and thus authorised the mission" to kill Khashoggi.

"Every expert consulted finds it inconceivable that an operation of this scale could be implemented without the crown prince being aware, at a minimum," the report said of bin Salman's alleged knowledge of the killing.

It added that team members were briefed on "the importance of the mission to national security and expected the team to report back to headquarters."

The official Saudi narrative on the murder has shifted several times but has remained consistent on the claim that crown prince Mohammed bin Salman had no knowledge of the killing before it happened.

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