March 1 local time, Bandar bin Sultan, the former director of Saudi Intelligence General, said in an interview with the local media that the report of the U.S. intelligence service on the murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi was only “just an evaluation report” and there was no evidence of the accusations against the Saudi Crown Prince.
Bandar bin Sultan is one of the important members of the Saudi royal family. He has served as Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States for a long time and has had a close relationship with former U.S. President Bush and other dignitaries.
In an interview with the media, he stressed that the investigation report of the U.S. intelligence agency on the killing of Khashoggi was “an assessment conclusion based on media coverage and U.S. understanding of Saudi Arabia’s decision-making mechanism”, and was not supported by any factual evidence.
Bandar bin Sultan cited the notorious Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq as an example.
“It is well known that many American soldiers have committed various crimes in military operations, but it does not mean that the President of the United States, as the supreme commander of the armed forces, is directly responsible for these crimes”, while Saudi Crown Prince Mohan Murd bin Salman admitted that he was personally morally responsible for the incident after the Khashoggi case.
At present, the Saudi judiciary has fulfilled its obligation to sentence the people involved in the Khashoggi case. Before the new evidence is submitted to the Saudi judiciary, the Khashoggi case should be considered to have Case closure.
Khashoggi is a famous Saudi journalist and has served as a columnist in many media. Khashoggi was killed on October 2, 2018 after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
The Saudi prosecutor’s office announced that Khashoggi had died in murder on October 25 of that year, and announced the final judgment of the case in September 2020. Five of the people involved were sentenced to 20 years’ imprisonment, one was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment and two were sentenced to 7 years’ imprisonment.
On February 26, 2021, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released an investigation report on the killing of Khashoggi, saying that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed approved the “arrest or killing” of Khashoggi in 2018.
The Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs subsequently issued a statement saying that the report contains inaccurate information and conclusions, so the Saudi side will not accept the report and reject any accusations of its leaders, violations of its sovereignty and the independence of the judicial system.
U.S. President Biden has previously said that he will announce a “major adjustment” in U.S. relations with Saudi Arabia on March 1 local time.