MbS offers 'condolences' to son of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist his men killed

MbS offers 'condolences' to son of Jamal Khashoggi, the Saudi journalist his men killed
The son of Jamal Khashoggi, Saleh, received a phone call by Saudi King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman offering condolences even as MbS is believed to be involved
2 min read
22 October, 2018
Khashoggi was killed in October [AFP]

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the son of Jamal Khashoggi, the kingdom announced early Monday, to express condolences for the death of the journalist killed at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by operatives who include members of the royal's innermost circle.

The state-run Saudi Press Agency announced the calls to Khashoggi's son, Salah, early Monday morning. Statements from the agency said both King Salman and Prince Mohammed express their condolences for his father's death.

A Saudi friend of Khashoggi who was in frequent touch with him before his death told The Associated Press that Khashoggi's son, Salah, has been under a travel ban and barred from leaving the kingdom since last year as a result of his father's criticism of the government.

The friend spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of repercussion. The Saudi statements did not acknowledge the ban.

King Salman similarly made a condolence call as international pressure on the kingdom continues to rise, even after it acknowledged on Saturday that the prominent Saudi journalist was killed earlier this month.

The Saudi journalist and Washington Post contributor Khashoggi vanished on 2 October after entering the consulate to obtain documents for his upcoming marriage.

After a fortnight of denials, Saudi authorities admitted on Saturday that Khashoggi, a prominent critic of powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was killed inside the consulate.

However the kingdom faced a growing chorus of incredulity over its belated explanation that he died in a "brawl", as world powers demand answers and the whereabouts of his body.

British and French officials denounced the latest Saudi explanation as insufficient. Canada's foreign minister, Chrystia Freeland, said the Saudi version lacked "consistency and credibility."

Several senior members of Trump's Republican Party, meanwhile, said they believed Prince Mohammed bin Salman was linked to the killing, and one called for a "collective" Western response if a link is proved.

US senator Rand Paul said on Sunday that the crown prince should be "replaced", calling Riyadh's explanation of Jamal Khashoggi's death "insulting".

Earlier, Democrat senator Dick Durbin said that Mohammed bin Salman "has his fingerprints all over" Khashoggi's death, while Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, said the crown prince has "now crossed a line and there has to be a punishment and a price paid for that."