Prince Bandar: CIA report on Khahoggi murder is evaluation, not evidence

Dubai: Prince Bandar Bin Sultan, former chief of the Saudi Intelligence and former ambassador to the US, emphasised that the murder of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi is a closed chapter, unless new evidence appears before the Saudi judiciary, Okaz newspaper reported.

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“Saudi Arabia has carried out what any other country does in terms of the investigation, trial and pronouncing judgment, and that is in accordance with its sovereign right and responsibility as a state and as a legitimate member of the international community,” he said.

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Prince Bandar described the CIA report on the killing of Khashoggi as “an assessment as the US intelligence agency itself called, and not a list of evidence,” and that the report could not confirm the nature of its intention. He stressed that the crime had taken place and Saudi Arabia took moral responsibility for it as was evident from a statement by Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, and the trial resulted in judgments convicting some of the accused and acquitting some others.

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Prince Bandar noted that the crime has pained all the Saudis. “In such cases, there is a second level of dealing with it in the Kingdom and that is pertaining to the position of the victim’s family,” he said while citing that the family of the deceased pardoned the perpetrators of its own free will.

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“Accordingly sentences were commuted from death to life, and this is what happened. If they (the family) did not ask for it, the death sentences would have been carried out according to the provisions of the judiciary and the Shariah,” he said adding that this is the general and objective context on how Saudi Arabia deals with such a crime.

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The media, political reports, and speeches are mainly shaped by prejudices and mental, psychological, and political positions towards Saudi Arabia in general, Prince Bandar said while noting that they developed these positions even before the occurrence of the crime and perhaps they found in the crime an opportunity to articulate their prejudices and bias.

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