In an exclusive interview with Fox News’s “Sunday Morning Futures,” Saudi Prince Alwaleed bin Talal said he believed that an official investigation would show that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was not involved in the killing of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi.
“I ask Saudi Arabia now publicly… to have the investigation made public as soon as possible, so whereby I believe the Saudi Crown prince will be 100 percent vindicated and exonerated.”
Prince Alwaleed, who was a friend of Khashoggi’s, denounced the assassination as “clearly horrific,” but asked the public to give Riyadh more time to investigate the case:
“You have to understand Jamal was not only my friend, he was working with me… what took place in that Saudi consulate was clearly horrific, despicable and tragic, and I believe that Saudi Arabia is going to get to the bottom of it, but please, you have to give us some time until the investigation is done and made public by the government of Saudi Arabia.”
In a speech to the UN Human Rights Council on November 5, President of the Human Rights Commission of Saudi Arabia Bandar al Aiban said that King Salman had instructed the public prosecutor to "investigate the case according to applicable laws and to bring perpetrators to justice."
However, he added that he did not believe “for a second that King Salman, the custodian of the holy mosques,” was behind it. He used an honorific title afforded the leader of the country where Mecca and Medina are located.
The Saudi prosecutor-general acknowledged nearly two weeks ago that the murder of Khashoggi had been plotted in advance, while the Istanbul prosecutor announced that the journalist's corpse had been dismembered and destroyed after he was strangled inside the Saudi Consulate General.
Jamal Khashoggi went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. Following weeks of concerns that he could have been killed inside the building, his death was confirmed.
On October 19, the Saudi prosecutor-general announced that the journalist had died in an altercation with people who met him at the consular premises; he also said in a statement that 18 people had been arrested as part of the investigation. Riyadh has denied the royal family’s involvement, saying that the crown prince was not aware of the plot and described the assassination as a “rogue operation.”