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Saudis Will Admit Guilt in Reporter's Death—Sort Of

Saudi Arabia to blame interrogation gone wrong, sources tell CNN
By Neal Colgrass,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 15, 2018 6:43 PM CDT
In this March 22, 2018, file photo, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman meets with US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis at the Pentagon in Washington.   (AP Photo/Cliff Owen, File)

(Newser) – Saudi Arabia is preparing to say that Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed by mistake during an interrogation that went too far, CNN reports. According to two unidentified sources, the Saudis will claim that Khashoggi was interrogated without clearance, and those behind it will be held responsible. But one source says the Saudi report is still in progress and might change. CNN's story adds to an earlier New York Times report that Saudi Arabia plans to blame Khashoggi's death on a "tragically incompetent" intelligence official. That official wasn't identified but is apparently a friend of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

"We are hearing from the sources at this stage that [the operation] was not carried out with the proper clearance," says CNN's Clarissa Ward on the air, per the Hill. "There will be plenty of people who will have difficulty swallowing that narrative, [saying] it's hard to believe anything of this nature, of this sensitivity, could possibly take place without those in power in Saudi Arabia … being privy to it on some level." Trump said earlier Monday that "rogue killers" may have murdered the journalist, whose death was apparently recorded on his Apple watch. (Read more journalists killed stories.)

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