Prince Turki al-Faisal says CIA is not necessarily the highest standard of veracity or accuracy in assessing situations
Khashoggi worked under Prince Turki (pictured) as a spokesperson for Saudi embassies [File: Kamran Jebreili/AP
more on Jamal Khashoggi
A senior Saudi prince cast doubt on the reported CIA finding that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last month, saying the agency could not be counted on to reach a credible conclusion.
“The CIA is not necessarily the highest standard of veracity or accuracy in assessing situations. The examples of that are multitude,” Prince Turki al-Faisal, a senior member of the royal family, told journalists in Abu Dhabi on Saturday.
The prince, a former Saudi intelligence chief who has also served as ambassador to the United States, said the agency’s conclusion that Iraq possessed chemical weapons before the US invasion in 2003 showed it could be unreliable.
“That was the most glaring of inaccurate and wrong assessments, which led to a full-scale war with thousands being killed,” he said, speaking at an event hosted by the Beirut Institute think tank.
“I don’t see why the CIA is not on trial in the United States. This is my answer to their assessment of who is guilty and who is not and who did what in the consulate in Istanbul.”
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The CIA has concluded that Prince Mohammed ordered the operation to kill Khashoggi, as first reported by the Washington Post, and briefed other parts of the US government on its findings, sources told Reuters news agency last week.
US President Donald Trump has disputed that the agency reached a conclusion on the murder, saying instead “they have feelings certain ways”.