Saudi govt rejects US report
on Jamal Khashoggi murder

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RIYADH: The Saudi Arabia government says it “completely rejects” the US assessment report on the murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The US intelligence report held Saudi Arabia Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman responsible for the approval of an operation to capture or kill Khashoggi in 2018.

Khashoggi wrote opinion columns for the Washington Post critical of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s policies.

Slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi

The Saudi journalist was murdered in on Oct. 2, 2018 at the Kingdom’s consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul. He had gone there to complete paperwork relating to his divorce.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that it has been following the report submitted to the US Congress “regarding the heinous murder of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi” and “notes that 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.”

It said: “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 ministry said that 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.” It pointed out that they were convicted and sentenced in Saudi courts and that “these sentences were welcomed by the family of Jamal Khashoggi.”

The statement continues: “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.

Saudi statement

“The Kingdom rejects any measure that infringes upon its leadership, sovereignty, and the independence of its judicial system.”

The ministry reiterated that the relationship between the Kingdom and the US is “a robust and enduring partnership.”

It added: “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 Saudi government repeated its previous statements that Khashoggi’s killing was a heinous crime by a rogue group.

Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said the US report was “negative, false and unacceptable”.

“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 Saudi foreign ministry said in a statement.

The ministry reiterated that the relationship between the Kingdom and the US is “a robust and enduring partnership”.

In a television interview on Friday, US President Joe Biden said he told Saudi King Salman that Saudi Arabia has to tackle human rights abuses as a precondition to dealing with the United States.

Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by a team of operatives linked to the prince in the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul.