Arabian Gulf

Saudi official denies seizure of suspect accused of killing Khashoggi in Paris

A Saudi official has refuted reports that one of the accused of killing journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been arrested in France as false and a matter of mistaken identity.

Those convicted of the crime are currently serving their sentences in Saudi Arabia, he said in a statement to Reuters in response to a request for comment.

This came as a source in the French police told Reuters that the authorities arrested one of the suspects in the murder of the Saudi journalist Khashoggi, at the Charles de Gaulle airport near Paris today, while he was preparing to travel to Riyadh.

The source explained that the arrested person was on a French list of wanted persons, confirming the news of his arrest, which was initially broadcast by RTL.

“The source identified the detainee as Khaled bin Aayed al-Otaibi, a former member of the Saudi Royal Guard who is believed to have participated in the killing of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018”.

The source added that Al-Otaibi was arrested on the basis of a warrant issued by Turkey in 2019, explaining that French prosecutors will now initiate proceedings for his possible extradition.

The French Interior Ministry declined to comment.

The Saudi embassy in Paris said that the person arrested in connection with Khashoggi’s death had nothing to do with the incident and expected his immediate release.

It added that the Saudi Embassy reiterates that the Saudi judiciary has already issued the sentences in the Khashoggi case.

Earlier, Erdogan’s adviser welcomed the Saudi trial last year that jailed eight defendants accused of killing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi between seven and 20 years.

Kälin said: “They have a court that has conducted trials. They made a decision, and therefore we respect that decision”.

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