Written byGarima Bora ·
Audio linked to Jamal Khashoggi's murder inside Saudi Arabia's Istanbul consulate does not implicate Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, US National Security Advisor John Bolton said yesterday, citing others who've heard the tapes.
Turkey has previously said it shared recordings linked to the murder of Khashoggi, a Saudi dissident and fierce critic of the Crown Prince, with officials in Riyadh, Washington and other capitals.
Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey on October 2 to obtain documents for his forthcoming marriage. He was murdered the same day. After repeated denials, Saudi Arabia finally admitted the 59-year-old had been murdered at the mission in a "rogue" operation.
Bolton, while speaking to reporters in Singapore, was asked whether it was right to say the audio contained nothing that could implicate the Crown Prince.
"I haven't listened to the tape, but in the assessment of those who've listened to it, that's right," he said.
Khashoggi's brazen murder caused intense speculation over what, if anything, Crown Prince Salman might have known about the operation.
Turkey's President, Recep Tayyip Erdogan, has said the order to murder Khashoggi came from "the highest levels" of the Saudi government and failed to absolve Crown Prince Salman of responsibility.
The New York Times reported that a team member at the consulate had told a superior by phone to "tell your boss", suspected to be the Crown Prince, that the operation had been accomplished.
The Trump administration had embraced the young prince as a reform-minded ally, but the murder of Khashoggi, a US resident, soured that narrative.
Bolton emphasized that Trump has demanded a full investigation from the Saudis and for those responsible, to be held accountable.
However, Trump has also emphasized America's important commercial, strategic, and national security relationships with the petro-state, and also lucrative arms contracts.
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