Saudi crown prince wanted to use a 'bullet' on Khashoggi

MIT President L. Rafael Reif listen to a panel discussion at the school in 2017

Khashoggi's killing by a team of Saudi operatives on October 2 provoked widespread revulsion and tarnished the image of the crown prince, who had been admired in the West for pushing deep changes including tax reform, infrastructure projects and allowing women to drive. Saudi officials discussed ways of getting him to travel to Saudi Arabia.

"The President maintains his discretion to decline to act on congressional committee requests when appropriate", a senior administration official said in an emailed statement. "It was committed by officials of the Saudi government acting outside their authority".

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist and prominent critic of Saudi Arabian leadership, was killed within the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last October.

It was introduced on the date that the Trump administration was supposed to inform Congress on its determination of whether the crown prince was personally responsible for the killing of Khashoggi.

The crown prince said this to a top aide in 2017, the newspaper said, citing unnamed current and former USA and foreign officials described as having first-hand knowledge of intelligence reports on the conversation.

The brutal killing - described by Turkish and USA officials as an elaborate plot - has drawn an worldwide outcry about press freedom and Saudi government tactics to quell criticism. "We know this was not authorised operation...it is a horrific crime and the whole country is outraged by this crime", he said.

The crown prince's comments to a top aide in 2017 were made well before Khashoggi was killed last October in a Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the Times reported, citing current and former USA and foreign officials knowledgeable about intelligence reports.

Saudi Arabia has refused to extradite its citizens to Turkey after the country issued arrest warrants for several Saudi officials.

Saudi Deputy Public Prosecutor Shalaan bin Rajih Shalaan said investigators had concluded an intelligence officer ordered Khashoggi's murder, applying a lethal injection inside the consulate.

The final report will be presented to the United Nations human rights council in June.

Congress had given the Trump administration a deadline of February 8 to submit a report on who bears responsibility for Khashoggi's death and whether Washington would impose sanctions on that person or people. It's unclear if they remain detained during the trial or where they're being held. And as he has done for the past few months, he referred to Khashoggi's killing as a "mistake".

The European Union's position on the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi remains unchanged and the bloc continues to call for a credible and careful investigation into the case, Maja Kocijancic, the spokesperson for the EU foreign affairs and security policy, has stated.

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