Alwaght- Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin Salman sent many messages to his closest adviser, who oversaw the assassination squad that brutally killed dissent journalist Jamal Khashoggi, in the hours before and after his murder at Saudi Consulate in Turkey, the Wall Street Journal reported on Saturday.
The American daily in a report, cited a classified CIA assessment as saying that the Saudi king-in-waiting “sent at least 11 messages to his closest adviser, who oversaw the team that killed Khashoggi, in the hours before and after the journalist’s death in October”.
The document said the communication "seems to foreshadow the Saudi operation launched against Khashoggi."
Bin Salman, according to The Wall Street Journal, told his close circle last August that if they failed to bring back Khashoggi "we could lure him outside Saudi Arabia and make arrangements".
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist working for The Washington Post and an outspoken critic of Saudi regime, was slain shortly after he entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
After weeks of saying he had left the consulate alive, the-west backed kingdom was forced to admit that Khashoggi was killed there, blaming his death on a group of rogue Saudi operatives.
According to the CIA document, the messages were sent to Saud al-Qahtani, who was the top aide of the crown prince.
“Qahtani supervised the 15-man team that killed Mr. Khashoggi and, during the same period, was also in direct communication with the team’s leader in Istanbul, the assessment says,” the Journal reported.
Qahtani used the Centre for Studies and Media Affairs at the Royal Court (CSMARC), the court's media department, to organize the murder, according to the CIA document.
"We assess it is highly unlikely this team of operators ... carried out the operation without Mohammed bin Salman's authorisation," the document says.
The assessment adds that Qahtani "explicitly requested the crown prince's permission when he pursued other sensitive operations in 2015, which reflects the crown prince's command and control expectations."
Despite the CIA's assessments, the US secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, insisted on Saturday that “no direct evidence” linked the Saudi crown prince to the death of Khashoggi.
Pompeo is a former director of the CIA, which concluded that Prince Mohammed ordered the murder.