Saudis Shift Account of Khashoggi Killing Again, as 5 Agents Face Death Penalty

(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – Saudi Arabia threatened five of its agents with the death penalty on Thursday for killing the dissident Jamal Khashoggi, as the kingdom changed its story, again, about how the crime was committed and continued to try to distance its de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, from any responsibility.

Announcing an update on the kingdom’s own investigation, the public prosecutor portrayed the killing of Mr. Khashoggi at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul as an improvised decision taken at the last minute by a team that had been dispatched there with orders to retrieve him.

While the prosecutor’s report did not name any of the suspects, the leader of the team that confronted Mr. Khashoggi at the consulate was Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb, a frequent companion of Prince Mohammed, who often traveled with him abroad, according to a Saudi official familiar with the investigation.

Thursday’s explanation closely echoed a previous Saudi account — portraying the killing as a rendition gone wrong — that President Trump had derided as “one of the worst in the history of cover-ups.”

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