How Western allies deal with Riyadh will hinge on the extent to which they believe responsibility for Khashoggi’s death lies directly with Prince Mohammed and the Saudi authorities.
The Saudi explanation that the all-powerful Crown Prince knew nothing of the plans to kill Khashoggi, who apparently died in a “fist fight”, marked one of the first times that world leaders questioned the Kingdom’s official state line.
But during the following two years it became part of a familiar pattern: there were mounting reports from the Kingdom and about the crown prince, including kidnappings, mass arrests at the five-star Ritz-Carlton hotel and the alleged targeting of civilians in the Yemen war.
But aid experts and U.N. officials say a more insidious form of warfare is also being waged in Yemen, an economic war that is exacting a far greater toll on civilians and now risks tipping the country into a famine of catastrophic proportions.
Erdogan said Turkey had more information than it had shared so far about the killing of Khashoggi, a Saudi national and Washington Post columnist who was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct.2.
I had been speaking to this dissident prince sporadically – he was living in self-imposed exile In Europe – for nearly a year, to get a sense of what other strands of the sprawling House of Saudi felt about the new King Salman and his then deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
But those efforts have been overshadowed by the coalition’s attacks on Yemen’s economy, including the denial of salaries to civil servants, a partial blockade that has driven up food prices, and the printing of vast amounts of bank notes, which caused the currency to plunge.
This morning on @reddit at 11:00 am EST, I will be doing a @washingtonpost Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything) with my colleague @jrezaian about the murder of our Post columnist Jamal #Khashoggi and the threat to free expression around the world. Join us!
A few months after that the crown prince ordered the sudden detention of 200 people, including princes, serving ministers and some of Saudi’s richest in the Ritz Carlton hotel on corruption charges.
The devastating war in Yemen has gotten more attention recently as outrage over the killing of a Saudi dissident in Istanbul has turned a spotlight on Saudi actions elsewhere.
“The reasoning behind the extradition request is that Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in Turkey by Saudi nationals who traveled to Turkey for this specific purpose,” a senior Turkish official said.
Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor on Thursday said the killing of Khashoggi was premeditated, contradicting a previous official statement that it happened accidentally during a tussle in the consulate.
Meanwhile the crown prince was accused of kidnapping Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri, who has Saudi citizenship, when he was summoned to Riyadh a year ago and compelled to resign in a speech read out on television from Saudi until France intervened to free him.
In January, Saudi Arabia deposited $2 billion in Yemen’s central bank to prop up its currency.
ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish prosecutors have prepared an extradition request for 18 suspects from Saudi Arabia in the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, authorities said on Friday, after President Tayyip Erdogan urged Riyadh to disclose who ordered the murder.