Recording hints at Saudi crown prince role in Khashoggi murder


US National Security Adviser John Bolton said he did not think that people who heard the recordings concluded that the crown prince was linked to the killing.

"I think the administration is wise to appoint someone with some experience in the region to Riyadh now after the government's murder of Jamal Khashoggi", Robert Ford, a former United States ambassador to Syria, told Al-Monitor in an email.

He ran social media for Prince Mohammed, masterminded the arrest of hundreds of Saudi Arabia's elite late previous year 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.

The bet by Kushner, a real estate developer, on Saudi Arabia's brash young crown prince, has come under intense scrutiny following the murder of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Trump has indicated to aides that he is inclined to accept the official Saudi explanation that rogue operative killed Khashoggi without Mohammed's knowledge.

Pressing ahead with moves to maintain pressure on Saudi Arabia, Erdogan said the crown prince had told Turkish envoys that he would shed light on the October 2 killing at the kingdom's consulate and do what was "necessary".

And American intelligence officials believe "your boss" was a reference to Prince Mohammed.

Trudeau said that he had not heard the audio and he wouldn't give any details on the contents of the tapes.

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Khashoggi's death last month at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul has further strained Riyadh's already hard relationship with Canada.

U.S. officials have speculated that such a mission - including the 15 men sent from Riyadh - could not have been carried out without the authorization of bin Salman, heir apparent to the Saudi throne.

After Saudi Arabia admitted that Khashoggi had been killed in its Istanbul consulate, five high-ranking officials were dismissed, including bin Salman's media chief and the deputy head of the Saudi intelligence service.

Erdogan repeated that Turkey had shared audio recordings relating to the killing with Saudi Arabia and other nations, including the United States, Britain, France, Germany and Canada.

They include the killing itself and conversations before the operation which Turkey subsequently uncovered, the sources said.

The government says it will do nothing further in response to the Saudi murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi until there's an investigation completed. United States officials have heard a recording of the call in which a "boss" is referred to, one person familiar with the matter said. "Due process is in train at the moment in Saudi Arabia and I was led to believe there will be rapid progress in making sure that people are brought to justice".

President Donald Trump on Tuesday (Nov 13) tapped General John Abizaid, a top USA general from the Iraq war who has studied the Middle East for years, as ambassador to Saudi Arabia amid growing friction between the longstanding allies.