Saudi Prince says impossible to trust the CIA on Khashoggi probe

Senior Saudi royal dismisses CIA conclusion that kingdom ordered journalists death, says agency cannot be trusted.

Tzvi Lev,

Prince Turki al Faisal
Prince Turki al Faisal
CC/Peter A. Iseman

A senior Saudi royal dismissed claims by the CIA that Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman was responsible for ordering the murder of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

According to Reuters, Prince Turki al-Faisal pointed to a slew of CIA blunders to argue that the agency's conclusions should not be trust. The intelligence failures Turki al Faisal invoked included the contention that Iraqi President Saddam Hussein possessed weapons of mass destruction in the run-up to the 2003 invasion of Iraq.

“That was the most glaring of inaccurate and wrong assessments, which led to a full-scale war with thousands being killed,” he said.

“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.”

A report last week said that the CIA possesses a recording of Saudi Arabian Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman ordering slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi to be "silenced".

According to Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News, CIA Director Gina Haspel had hinted during a visit to Ankara in October that the CIA had a recording in which the Saudi prince is heard ordering Khashoggi to be killed.

The conversation was allegedly intercepted by CIA wiretapping.

Khashoggi's body has never been found, more than a month after he was killed.

The case has strained relations between Saudi Arabia and the West. US President Donald Trump derided the killing as "one of the worst cover-ups" in history.

The United States later revoked the visas of 21 Saudi nationals implicated in the crime.