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Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told a top aide he would use 'a bullet' on Jamal Khashoggi one year before the Saudi journalist was killed in October.
According to a report by The New York Times, American intelligence agencies intercepted a 2017 conversation between the crown prince and his aide which revealed bin Salman's frustration over Khashoggi's criticism of the Saudi government and his refusal to return to the kingdom from the US.
CIA - Officials - November - Khashoggi - Killing
CIA officials ruled in November that Khashoggi's killing was likely ordered by bin Salman himself, however this report is the most direct evidence that ties the crown prince to the assassination.
The report comes one day before a congressional deadline for the White House to submit a report on whether the crown prince did in fact order Khashoggi's killing and if it intends to impose sanctions on the de facto ruler.
United - States - Sanctions - Saudi - Officials
The United States has imposed sanctions on 17 Saudi officials for their role in the journalist's death, but U.S. President Donald Trump has said he stands by the crown prince.
US intelligence analysts have interpreted the 'bullet' comment metaphorically, meaning the crown prince did not necessarily mean to have Khashoggi shot, but they do think it showed his intent to have the journalist killed if he did not return to the kingdom, the Times said.
Kingdom - Mohammed - Knowledge - Killing - Saudi
The kingdom has denied Mohammed had prior knowledge of the killing at a Saudi consulate in Turkey and said in January it would seek the death penalty for five people allegedly involved.
His remains have not been found and it is feared his body could have been...
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