A UN expert has threatened sanctions against the Saudi crown prince. Is he really the kind of ally we need against Iran?

The world is rightly outraged by his role in the death of Jamal Khashoggi – but the 91,600 Yemenis killed by the Saudi-led coalition is something that should lie more heavily on his conscience

Patrick Cockburn

The Independent Voices

There is “sufficient credible evidence” that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the effective ruler of Saudi Arabia, was responsible for the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi and that he should be investigated according to a UN special rapporteur.
Saudi Arabia first denied government involvement in the murder of Khashoggi after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October. It later admitted the brutal assassination but claimed that it had been the result of “a rogue operation” by a 15-strong Saudi team that was waiting for Khashoggi inside the consular building.

There is a chilling moment in the audio recording of Khashoggi’s last moments quoted in the report when he must have realised that the Saudi security officials gathered around him were intending to kill him.

“There is a towel here,” Khashoggi says. “Are you going to give me drugs?” A man replies, saying: “We will anaesthetise you.” There is the sound of a struggle during which the journalist was murdered and his body afterwards dismembered.

The Saudi government has said that neither the crown prince nor King Salman knew about the killing in advance. Sceptics have pointed that several of the team that flew to Istanbul and went to the consulate came from Prince Mohammed’s inner circle. US officials have said that the operation could not have been carried out without the crown prince’s knowledge.




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