BEIRUT, Lebanon – The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia, Mohammed bin Salman, said he was wearing "the full responsibility" for the assassination of a dissident by Saudi agents in Istanbul last year, but denied that he was already involved in the conspiracy According to a trailer for a documentary, which should be published next week.
The death and dismemberment of the writer Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul almost a year ago shocked the world, damaging the reputation of Prince Mohammed, 34, and his efforts to diversify the Saudi economy away from oil.
A CIA It was estimated that the Prince, a son of the Saudi king and the country's de facto ruler, had probably ordered the killing, a conclusion shared by many officials in the United States and other countries.
Saudi officials denied that Prince Mohammed had done so Any prior knowledge of the operation against Khashoggi and President Trump, who sees Prince Mohammed as the key to his plans for the Middle East, stands by his side.
"It happened under my observation," said Prince Mohammed to Martin Smith, a reporter for the PBS program Frontline, reported that on Tuesday a trailer for a documentary broadcast on October 1 was released. "I take the entire responsibility. Because it happened under my observation.
Turkish and Saudi officials have described a complex operation that led to the assassination of Mr. Khashoggi, who had fled waves of arrests of clerics and activists in Saudi Arabia when Prince Mohammed consolidated his power. On October 2 last year, Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to make an appointment to receive a document he needed to marry his Turkish fiancé. He was hit by 15 Saudi agents who had flown hours earlier with government jets. According to Turkish officials, one of the autopsy specialists was a bone saw.
They killed and dismembered him and disposed of his body, which is still to be found.
Turkish Officials and a The United Nations investigator investigating the killings accused the Saudis of a lavish cover-up involving a body double and teams of technical experts cleaning the scene before granting access to the Turks has been.
Asked how such an operation could take place Without his knowledge, the prince said he could not keep up with every act in his country or government.
"We have 20 million people," he said, according to the trailer. "We have 3 million government employees."
The reporter asked if Saudi agents could use private government jets without his knowledge, and he said they could.
"I have officials, ministers who track things and they are responsible.
The conversation took place on the verge of an electric car race near the Saudi capital, Riyadh, in December, two months after the killing of Khashoggi.
The trailer for the documentary film "The Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia" There are no video or audio recordings of the Prince, and the quotations are told by Mr. Smith.
His interview was one of a few times when Prince Mohammed publicly talked about the killing of Mr. Khashoggi, the day after he shared told reporters from Bloomberg that he did not know where Mr. Khashoggi was and that Saudi Arabia had "nothing to hide."
At an investment conference he later referred to He taught Prince Mohammed the murder "a terrible, unjustifiable event" and promised that justice would be committed.
The Saudis have brought 11 murder suspects to justice, and prosecutors are demanding the death penalty against five of them. But the lawsuit was kept secret. The Saudis have not named any of the suspects, and diplomats who attended court sessions have been silenced.
Among the suspects is Saud al-Qahtani, a powerful adjutant of Prince Mohammed, who oversees the operation, according to US officials. Mr. al-Qahtani was removed from his position as Advisor to the Royal Court, but his status and whereabouts remain unclear.
In a report on the June murder, Agnes Callamard, Special Rapporteur on Extrajudicial Executions for The United Nations Human Rights Organization, said the Saudi process was "secret and inadequate".