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Tags: khashoggi | saudi arabia | khalid aedh alotaibi | arrested | paris

Suspect in Khashoggi Murder Arrested in Paris

man holds newspaper showing justice for khashoggi ad
(Ozan Kose/AFP via Getty Images)

By    |   Tuesday, 07 December 2021 01:33 PM

French police have reportedly arrested one of the alleged members of a Saudi hit squad that killed Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

According to French media, Khalid Aedh Alotaibi, 33, was detained at Roissy Charles de Gaulle airport while trying to board a flight to Riyadh, the Telegraph reported.

The suspect, reportedly a member of the Saudi Royal Guard, was traveling with a passport under his real name, the Telegraph reported.

His arrest came days after France’s President Emmanuel Macron met Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in Riyadh during a tour of the Gulf region, the news outlet noted.  

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and outspoken critic of the crown prince, the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia, was killed by Saudi agents at the Kingdom's Istanbul consulate.

The crown prince has denied any involvement in Khashoggi's death, though a CIA report concluded he personally ordered the columnist's murder.

News website France Info reported Alotaibi was expected to appear in court in Paris and was being held in judicial detention until authorities decide on whether to extradite him.

The Telegraph reported Alotaibi is one of 26 Saudis wanted by Turkey over Khashoggi's murder, which caused international outrage and turned the crown prince into a global pariah.

Khashoggi had been strangled and then dismembered inside the consulate according to Turkish investigators, though his remains have never been found.  

It was not immediately clear whether there was a link between Macron's visit to Saudi Arabia and Tuesday's arrest in Paris.

Speaking to reporters in Saudi Arabia on Saturday, the French president denied that he was legitimizing the crown prince by meeting him.

"We [can] decide after the Khashoggi affair that we have no policy in the region, which is a choice some can defend, but I think France has an important role to play in the region," he said, the Telegraph reported.

"That doesn't mean we are complicit or that we forget," he added.

A Saudi court convicted eight unnamed people over the murder in 2019, the BBC noted.

Five were found guilty of directly participating in the killing and handed death sentences that were later commuted to 20-year prison terms, while three others were jailed for seven to 10 years for covering up the crime, the BBC reported.

But the Saudi trial was dismissed as "the antithesis of justice" by a United Nations official, Agn├Ęs Callamard, who concluded Khashoggi was "the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution."

A 2019 report by Callamard said Saudi prosecutors ordered the arrest of Alotaibi as part of an investigation into Khashoggi's murder but ultimately decided not to charge him.

Alotaibi is the subject of a Turkish arrest warrant and is being tried in absentia in Istanbul on a murder charge, the BBC reported.

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GlobalTalk
French police have reportedly arrested one of the alleged members of a Saudi hit squad that killed Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. According to French media, Khalid Aedh Alotaibi, 33...
khashoggi, saudi arabia, khalid aedh alotaibi, arrested, paris
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2021-33-07
Tuesday, 07 December 2021 01:33 PM
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