Saudi Arabia has ‘completely’ rejected the U.S. intelligence report released on Friday implicating Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Saudi Arabia described the report as ‘negative, false and unacceptable,’ saying it contained inaccurate information and conclusions.
The US intelligence report, produced by the US Office of the Director of National Intelligence, confirmed that the Saudi prince ‘approved an operation’ to capture or kill Mr Khashoggi.
“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 Foreign Ministry of Saudi Arabia said in a statement.
“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 statement said.
It added that the concerned individuals were convicted and sentenced by the courts in the kingdom and “these sentences were welcomed by the family of Jamal Khashoggi.”
“It is truly unfortunate that this report, with its unjustified and inaccurate conclusions, is issued while the kingdom has clearly denounced this heinous crime, and the Kingdom’s leadership took the necessary steps to ensure that such a tragedy never takes place again,” the Saudi statement added
“The Kingdom rejects any measure that infringes upon its leadership, sovereignty, and the independence of its judicial system.”
In the U.S. four-page intelligence report, the experts said they drew conclusions based on Mr Salman’s “control of decision-making” in Saudi Arabia, saying “it’s highly unlikely that Saudi officials would have carried out an operation of this nature without the Crown Prince’s authorization.”
Mr Khashoggi was murdered at the Saudi embassy in Turkey. His body was never found and is believed to have been dismembered and dumped in a secret place by the Saudi killer squad.