Khashoggi affair: Dissident’s son arrives in Washington

After meeting Mohammed bin Salman, Salah Khashoggi was able to leave for the US after his travel ban was lifted. Saudi public prosecutor, who is set to visit Istanbul, accepts the premeditation theory. CIA chief returns from Istanbul to brief President Trump on available evidence.

Riyadh (AsiaNews/Agencies) – Salah Khashoggi and his family arrived over night in Washington, DC after leaving Saudi Arabia. He is the eldest son of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist and dissident whose death has cast a shadow on Saudi Arabia.

Salah Khashoggi, who is a dual US-Saudi national, was able to leave after the Saudi government lifted a travel ban imposed on him because of his father’s criticism and dissidence vis-à-vis the country’s rulers.

Salah Khashoggi, who was able to reach his brothers who are long-time residents of the United States, met on Tuesday met with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman (MbS), who according to critics is the instigator of his father’s murder.

Salah Khashoggi gave what many saw as a cold, frightened stare during the meeting in which the Crown Prince extended his condolences to the dead journalist’s family.

Some observers believe the meeting may have been the price for being allowed to leave the country. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is purported to have told Saudi leaders that he wanted Salah Khashoggi to be able to return to the US.

Following the journalist’s murder, allegedly inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Pompeo scrambled to visit Saudi Arabia and Turkey to find out what happened.

Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor said on Thursday that the killing was premeditated, as Turkish President Recep Erdogan had suggested. He plans to travel to Istanbul to collect the evidence the Turkish leader announced today.

Turkish prosecutors investigating the affair for weeks are convinced that the Saudi Crown Prince knows what happened inside the diplomatic mission.

According to activists and opponents, MbS ordered the execution and managed the various phases.

Saudi authorities continue to strongly deny this version of events, insisting on the thesis of rogue elements who acted beyond their mandate.

After taking part in the "Davos in the desert" forum in Riyadh (23-25 October), the Crown Prince chaired the first meeting of a committee to reform the state's intelligence services, which was set up following Mr Khashoggi's death.

Also yesterday, CIA director Gina Haspel briefed President Donald Trump after her return from a quick visit to Turkey. Mr Pompeo was also at the White House with Ms Haspel.

Unconfirmed media reports say that during the Turkey visit Ms Haspel met with Turkish investigators and heard audio recordings that investigators claim capture the murder.