The Foreign Office has said the U.S. intel claiming MBS approved the coup on Khashoggi is “ negative, false and unacceptable. ”
Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry has rejected a report by US intelligence agencies released on Friday that blames Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS) for the murder of Jamal Khashoggi.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia completely rejects the negative, false and unacceptable assessment of the report regarding the leadership of the Kingdom and notes that the report contained inaccurate information and conclusions,” the Foreign Ministry said in a statement released by the Saudi press agency.
US Intelligence Community Report, Produced by US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, Confirms US Spy Agencies Concluded that MBS “Approved Operation” to Capture or Kill Saudi Journalist in Istanbul, Turkey .
Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a Saudi strike team inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. His body has never been found.
“It was a heinous crime and a flagrant violation of the laws and values of the Kingdom,” the ministry statement said.
“This crime was committed by a group of individuals who violated all relevant regulations and authorities of the agencies where they were employed,” the statement said.
“The people concerned were found guilty and sentenced by the courts of the kingdom and these sentences were welcomed by the family of Jamal Khashoggi.”
The four page American report, required by Congress, had been kept out of public view by former President Donald Trump, but was released by new President Joe Biden who pledged during his 2020 political campaign to hold the Saudis responsible for Khashoggi’s murder.
US spy agencies, including the CIA, based their assessment of MBS’s role on its “control over decision-making” and “the direct involvement of a key advisor” and members of its “protective detachment” in the operation.
Saudi Arabia has long denied that MBS had any direct knowledge of Khashoggi’s murder.
After the report was released on Friday, officials in the Biden administration announced travel bans on 76 Saudi nationals and imposed financial sanctions on Saudi Major General Ahmad Hassan Mohammad Asiri, a close confidant of MBS.
– Ministry of Foreign Affairs 🇸🇦 (@KSAmofaEN) February 26, 2021
“It is truly unfortunate that this report, with its unwarranted and inaccurate conclusions, is released when the Kingdom has clearly spoken out against this heinous crime, and the Kingdom’s leaders have taken the necessary steps to ensure that such a tragedy does not happen again. more ‘statement said.
“The Kingdom rejects any measure that undermines its leadership, sovereignty and the independence of its judicial system.”
Asked about the Saudi denial of the report’s findings, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken told Washington that “the report speaks for itself” and that the Biden administration “is trying to bring transparency to this issue and share with the American people what we know ”.
Kingdom had given ‘multi-million dollar houses’ and ‘five-figure monthly payments’ to Khashoggi’s four children, 2019 report says Washington Post report, the American newspaper where Khashoggi had been a columnist.
Khashoggi wrote in his last column before he was killed about the need for a free press in the Arab world.
“A state-run narrative dominates the public psyche, and although many do not believe it, a large majority of the population fall victim to this false narrative,” Khashoggi said.