The Guardian newspaper said that in the days following France’s release of the man it had arrested on suspicion of murdering Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the tone of the Saudis’ tone towards Lebanon had subsided.
The newspaper stated in a report that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman received French President Emmanuel Macron in Jeddah earlier this month, in the first visit by a Western leader to Saudi Arabia since the outbreak of the scandal (Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi embassy in Turkey) in October. The first 2018.
She revealed that “in return, Macron insisted that the de facto Saudi leader (Bin Salman) receive a phone call from Lebanese Prime Minister Najib Mikati, which may open the way for Riyadh to send aid to the bankrupt country,” noting that ” In the days following France’s release of the man it had arrested, the rhetoric used by Saudi and Gulf officials toward Lebanon has greatly eased.
A source with ties to senior members of the Saudi intelligence revealed to the newspaper that “at least three members of the Saudi assassination squad, who were convicted by Riyadh of killing Khashoggi, live and work inside a seven-star security complex run by the government in Riyadh.” He (the source) spoke with two witnesses who claimed to have witnessed convicted murderers who reside in villas and buildings run by the Saudi state security apparatus, and they said that family members often visit them, after sentences issued in a “sham trial” were commuted from execution to life imprisonment.
These observations, according to the newspaper, cast more doubt on Riyadh’s claims to hold the killers accountable and come amid the reappearance of bin Salman’s advisor, Saud Al-Qahtani, again in the royal court after three years in hiding, noting that “Al-Qahtani was acquitted of any He was involved in the assassination of Khashoggi, despite the assessment of Western intelligence that he was the mastermind of the operation by order of bin Salman.
The source confirmed that “the forensic scientist who cut up Khashoggi’s body inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul was among those who were seen inside the facility. Mustafa al-Madani, a member of the assassination squad who helped create a ruse that Khashoggi left the consulate alive, was also seen, as was Mansour Aba Hussein.” accused of leading the operation.”
The discoveries come as mystery continues to surround the identity of the man arrested by French police this month, who was initially identified as a member of a sub-team of Khashoggi’s killers. Khaled Ayed Al-Otaibi was arrested at Charles de Gaulle Airport on December 7 on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by Turkey.
Police later said the arrest was due to a “mistake” in identification. However, it is understandable that Turkish officials believe that France may have arrested the right man and released him for political reasons.
A source confirmed to “The Guardian” that Turkish officials have reported their concerns, especially since the statements they submitted to Interpol match what the French police initially sent to them.
Source: “The Guardian”
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