Tape Doesn't Implicate Prince MBS, NSA Bolton Says

Tape Doesn't Implicate Prince MBS, NSA Bolton Says

A member of the Saudi kill team responsible for the assassination at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul reportedly can be heard saying on the phone, "tell your boss" and "the deed was done", after Khashoggi was murdered.

The tours are the latest public outreach by the king, apparently meant to shore up the power of the crown prince, who has taken over day-to-day rule but whose worldwide reputation was battered since Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

After weeks of denials, Saudi Arabia finally admitted that senior officials and intelligence agents were behind the murder of the dissident journalist, but denied Mohammed bin Salman played any role in the operation.

John Bolton, a national security adviser and key member of the Donald Trump administration, said that "those who have listened" to the recording also say that the crown prince, commonly referred to as MBS, was not involved.

Turkish intelligence officers believe the call was made to one of bin Salman's close aides.

But officials in Ankara say the audio does not conclusively implicate Mohammed bin Salman.

"The president has made it very clear that he expects we're going to get the truth from the Saudis - and the king and the crown prince, in the conversations they've had with the president, have committed to that", Bolton said.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and USA resident, was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Speaking to reporters in Singapore ahead of a regional summit, Bolton said he hasn't listened to the recording himself, however.

CNN has not heard the recording and is unable to verify the voices on the tape or what they're purported to say.

Trump says North Korea missile work 'normal'
SEOUL-Analysts say North Korea still sees its nuclear arsenal as a key tool in securing its national safety and winning concessions from global rivals.

Asked again if the audio tape provided by Turkey did not link Prince Mohammed to the killing in any way, Bolton said: "I haven't listened to the tape myself but in the assessment of those who have listened to it, that is right".

Under mounting pressure, Saudi Arabia has changed its narrative about Khashoggi's killing.

Erdogan said the killing was ordered at the "highest levels" of the Saudi government, but that he could not think it came from King Salman, for whom he has "limitless respect".

He ran social media for Prince Mohammed, masterminded the arrest of hundreds of Saudi Arabia's elite late a year ago in a campaign Riyadh said aimed at rooting out corruption, and took a harsh line against neighbouring Qatar when Saudi Arabia imposed an economic boycott of the Gulf state in June 2017.

'It must be revealed who gave them the order to murder'.

More recently, a government source said Qahtani featured prominently in the recordings.

The latest move of global community to pressure Saudi Arabia, on the other hand, came on Monday from the U.K. The British Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt met with King Salman, MBS and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Monday in Riyadh regarding the issue.

The comments, reported by the pro-government Turkish newspaper The Daily Sabah on Tuesday, came after The New York Times reported that people familiar with the audio recording say it contains an instruction to "tell your boss".

Erdogan has not given details of the contents of the tapes but two sources with knowledge of the issue have said that Turkey has several audio recordings.

Related Articles