‘Khashoggi assassins used jets linked to Saudi Crown Prince’
New Delhi: US President Joe Biden spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia over the phone hours ahead of a new report was set to be made public in the sensational killing of acclaimed journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.Recently filed court documents have mentioned that the two private jets used by the alleged Saudi Arabian assassination squad that killed and dismembered journalist Jamal Khashoggi were owned by a firm that was seized by the Kingdom’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, media reports said.
The documents are labelled “Top Secret” and signed by a Saudi Minister who relayed the orders of the Crown Prince, the young de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia.”According to the instruction of His Highness the Crown Prince,” the Minister wrote according to a translation, “immediately approve the completion of the necessary procedures for this.”The filing lays out how ownership of Sky Prime Aviation was ordered to be transferred into the country’s $400 billion sovereign wealth fund in late 2017. The company’s planes were later used in the October 2018 killing of Khashoggi, CNN reported.
The Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund, known as the Public Investment Fund, is controlled by the Saudi crown and is chaired by the crown prince, who is known as MBS. The documents establishing the link between the planes and the prince were filed by a group of Saudi-state owned companies as part of an embezzlement suit they opened last month in Canada against a former top Saudi intelligence official, Saad Aljabri.The embezzlement accusations against Aljabri came after a lawsuit he filed last year in Washington, DC, District Court against MBS. Aljabri has accused the crown prince of sending a hit team to kill him in Canada just days after Khashoggi was murdered. MBS was served a summons via WhatsApp, and in December, a lawyer for the prince asked the court to dismiss the case.Evidence that ownership of the fleet of private planes had been moved into Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund has not been previously reported and provides another link between Khashoggi’s death and MBS.