On October 24, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman described the killing of Saudi journalist and critic Jamal Khashoggi as a “heinous crime” and vowed to bring the perpetrators to justice, in his first remarks on the issue.
“This was a very, very painful incident for all Saudis and also for everybody on this planet … Saudi Arabia will go and implement all necessary rules and investigate deeply in order to achieve results. And to bring to justice those who are responsible for this heinous crime, and they will be put before courts,” bin Salman said during his speech at the Future Investment Initiative (FII) in the Saudi capital of Riyadh, according to the CNN TV.
Furthermore, bin Salman said that the killing of Khashoggi will not derail the kingdom’s reform drive and praised the cooperation between Saudi Arabia and Turkey on the issue.
“We will prove to the world that the two governments (Saudi and Turkish) are cooperating to punish any criminal, any culprit and at the end justice will prevail,” the Reuters news agency quoted bin Salman as saying.
Khashoggi, who is a columnist for the Washington Post, went missing on October 2 after entering the Saudi consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul. Two weeks later, Saudi Arabia acknowledged that Khashoggi was murdered during what was described as a “quarrel and a brawl” with personnel he met in the consulate. The Saudi Public Prosecution detained 18 suspect, while many senior officials were sacked by King Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud.
Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan was supposed to reveal sensitive information about the killing of Khashoggi on October 22. However, he only said that the crime was “pre-planned.” This allowed some experts to speculate that Turkey is using its information about the crime as a bargaining chip with the U.S. and Saudi Arabia.
On the same time, the US limited its response to the unprecedented assasination by formal statements and a visa ban for 21 Saudi ctiziens. In fact, by this very limited response, Washington demonstrated its support to the Saudi actions.