Daily Management Review

Saudi Crown Prince Says Khashoggi’s Murder Happened Under His Watch


It has been almost a year that the sudden disappearance of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, who was later learnt to have been murdered while he was inside in the Saudi Arabian consulate office in Istanbul, had rocked the world – especially the western countries and their governments. 
While multiple fingers were pointed at Saudi Arabia administration for allegedly conspiring the murder because Khashoggi was a critic of the royal family, very little had been said by the Saudi rulers, including by the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – who according to the CIA had ordered the killing. The crown prince has denied those allegations against him.
However, very recently, the crown prince of Saudi Arabia spoke out about the incident in a PBS documentary to be broadcast next week. The crown prince spoke at length about what he thought his role was in the murder of Khashoggi and has reportedly told the magazine that the killing had taken place under his watch.
“It happened under my watch,” the Saudi leader told the magaxine as reported by it. “I get all the responsibility, because it happened under my watch.”
The crown prince Mohammed bin Salman however stressed that he had no knowledge about the incident taking place or he was not informed at all about it.  
In the week following the death of Khashoggi in October of 2018, the murder was termed as ‘heinous’ by the Mohammed and had pledged to conduct a thorough investigation into the incident. At the same time, the Saudi government steadily kept denying that the crown prince had any knowledge of the murder prior to it taking place and said that the incident had been perpetrated by certain “rogue” elements with the Saudi establishment and secret service.
In December of 2018, Frontline correspondent Martin Smith, managed to confront the crown prince and asked him how the killing could have taken place without the knowledge of the crown prince as he was a the defacto head of the Saudi establishment.
“We have 20 million people. We have 3 million government employees,” Prince Mohammed responded to the question.
“And they can take one of your planes?” Smith asked, referring to the 15-person team said to have been behind Khashoggi’s death and dismemberment and who had flown in and out of Istanbul on jets owned by the Saudi government.
“I have officials, ministers to follow things, and they’re responsible, they have the authority to do that,” Prince Mohammed said.

This conversation with the crown prince is just one of the very few quotes on the murder by him that is publicly available anywhere. The PBS documentary that would be aired on the completion of one year of the murder of Khashoggi also reportedly contains never-before-seen footage of an interview of Khashoggi which gives a comprehensive understanding of how the journalist turned into a critic of the crown prince and the royal family from being a supporter.