Saudi crown prince 'may have known' about Khashoggi killing


In another development on Monday, a senior Saudi source told the Middle East Eye news portal that US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had delivered a plan to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud and the crown prince to shield them from the murder scandal, during a meeting in Riyadh last month.

Additionally on Monday, Turkish newspaper Haberturk reported that the audio recordings of Khashoggi's murder indicate that he was accosted by four members of a Saudi hit squad shortly after he entered the kingdom's Istanbul consulate.

"Our standing by Yemen was not an option but a duty to support the Yemeni people in confronting the aggression of Iranian-backed militias", he said.

The move from the Houthi group came after the Saudi-led coalition ordered a halt in its offensive against Yemen's main port city Hodeidah, which has become the focus of the war.

Riyadh has come under growing global criticism for its conduct of the Yemen war, which has brought the country to the brink of starvation and killed many civilians in air strikes.

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Saudi Arabia had offered shifting explanations for Khashoggi's disappearance before suggesting he was killed during a botched operation by rogue agents.

In the wake of Khashoggi's killing, the 82-year-old monarch put the crown prince in charge of overseeing the reorganization of the kingdom's intelligence services.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman arrives at the Future Investment Initiative conference in the Saudi capital of Riyadh on October 24, 2018.

Later on Monday, the king traveled to the northern Tabuk region, resuming a domestic tour in the latest public outreach apparently meant to show support for his chosen heir.

His body has yet to be returned to his family amid reports that it was chemically dissolved.

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Last week, the Saudi public prosecutor announced indictments against 11 people and said a total of 21 individuals were in custody in connection with Khashoggi's murder.

Khashoggi, a US -based Washington Post columnist who was a critic of the Saudi government run by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in October at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The president, in a statement released by the White House, indicated he had no intention of cancelling military contracts with Riyadh, saying, "if we foolishly cancel these contracts, Russian Federation and China would be the enormous beneficiaries".

The United States has sanctioned 17 Saudis for the crime, including close aides of Prince Mohammed, and is set to make final conclusions this week over the killing.

He would not say whether the crown prince is among them.

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