Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman claimed that he was the real victim of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi’s murder in an interview with The Atlantic.
MBS in his first interview with a western outlet in years, laughed off journalists’ questions about the killing, insisting that he barely knew who Khashoggi was.
MBS said it was “obvious” he didn’t order the killing.
“It hurt me a lot,” he said. “It hurt me and it hurt Saudi Arabia, from a feelings perspective… “I understand the anger, especially among journalists. I respect their feelings. But we also have feelings here, pain here.”
MBS told two people close to him that “the Khashoggi incident was the worst thing ever to happen to me, because it could have ruined all of my plans,” according to the report.
MBS says he’s the real victim:
MBS argued in the interview that his own rights were violated in the Khashoggi scandal.
“I feel that human-rights law wasn’t applied to me,” he said. “Article XI of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that any person is innocent until proven guilty.”
He also argued that Khashoggi was not important enough to kill.
“I never read a Khashoggi article in my life,” he said, before arguing that he would have sent more competent assassins to kill a more worthy target if he were to order a killing. “If that’s that way we did things,” he said, “Khashoggi would not even be among the top 1,000 people on the list. If you’re going to go for another operation like that, for another person, it’s got to be professional and it’s got to be one of the top 1,000.”
CIA said MBS did it:
The CIA concluded in 2018 that MBS ordered the assassination of Khashoggi with “high confidence.”
Though MBS noted that Saudi Arabia had punished those convicted of killing the journalist, the country’s own prosecutors found that the killing was carried out by some of MBS’ closest aides.
MBS denied his involvement but acknowledged that the Khashoggi killing was a “huge mistake.”
“Hopefully,” he said, no more hit squads would be found. “I’m trying to do my best.”