THE NEW account of Jamal Khashoggi’s death offered by Saudi Arabia on Thursday was shocking in its audacity.
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authorities in Riyadh reverted to an earlier, discredited tale: that Mr. Khashoggi was killed spontaneously inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul by a team sent to return him to Saudi Arabia.
a Riyadh public prosecutor excused not just Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman — the chief suspect in the murder — but also two of his top aides, who the prosecutor said ordered or advised the capture operation but did not approve Mr. Khashoggi’s killing.
By offering up this incredible account, the Saudi regime is baldly defying all those, including leading members of Congress, who called for full disclosure and accountability. Yet the Trump administration appears ready to accept its stonewalling. On Thursday, it announced sanctions against 17 people implicated by the Saudis — leaving untouched both the crown prince and top intelligence officials in Riyadh.
Accepting the Saudi story means ignoring a number of well-established facts. An audio recording of Mr. Khashoggi’s last moments,
which Turkish officials shared with CIA Director Gina Haspel, indicates he was attacked and strangled immediately after entering the consulate.
The Saudi version claims he died only after a quarrel and a struggle that prompted the head of the “negotiation team” to decide to murder him by injecting him with drugs.
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