“Khashoggi would not be on a list of the thousand people to kill”

The Saudi crown prince, Mohamed bin Salmán, defended his innocence regarding the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018 and maintained that in the hypothetical case that there was a list of a thousand people to kill, the informant would not have been among themaccording to an interview published this Thursday by The Atlantic.

Bin Salman added that it is “obvious” that he did not order the murder of the Saudi journalist in October 2018 at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul (Turkey), according to his statements to the American magazine.

“It has hurt me a lot. It has hurt me and it has hurt Saudi Arabia from a sentimental point of view.” maintained the man who pulls the strings in the Arab country and seventh of the sons of King Salmán bin Abdulaziz.

Asked about these feelings, Bin Salman explained that he understands the anger, especially that of journalists, over Khashoggi’s death.

“I respect their feelings, but we also have feelings here, pain here,” said Bin Salmán, while maintaining that he is capable of accepting criticism. “If I couldn’t, I wouldn’t be sitting with you today listening to that question.”

Throughout the conversations that The Atlantic had with Bin Salmán in Saudi Arabia, the prince strives to defend his innocence and to present a modern image of himself.

He even regrets that his own rights have been violatedaccording to him, as a result of Khashoggi’s murder: “I feel that the human rights law has not been applied to me,” he said, referring to his presumption of innocence.

One of the arguments he uses to prove his innocence is that Khashoggi was not someone important enough to kill.

“I never read an article by Khashoggi in my life,” the prince said., who stressed that if his country assassinated authors of editorials critical of the kingdom, the deceased journalist would not be on the list of 1,000. first to kill

“If you are going to do an operation of that type, against another person, it has to be professional and it has to be against one of the first 1,000”remarked Bin Salmán before the journalists of The Atlantic, who express their perplexity at these statements.

The prince added that Khashoggi’s murder was “a huge mistake” and noted that “hopefully” no more death squads will be foundlike the one who murdered the journalist in Istanbul: “I’m trying to do the best I can.”

Khashoggi, a dissident who lived in the United States and was a columnist for The Washington Post, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018. to obtain documentation that he needed in order to marry his girlfriend, Hatice Cengiz.

But he never left the building again, even now there are no traces of the remains of his body.

On October 31, 2018, Istanbul Chief Prosecutor Irfan Fidan concluded that very shortly after entering the consulate, the journalist was killed by suffocation and his body dismembered.

Riyadh admitted that Saudi government agents killed Khashoggi at the consulate in Istanbul and He sentenced five people involved, without offering specific details of the trial, but Prince Bin Salmán always denied his involvement.

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