Jamal Khashoggi: Suspect linked to killing of Saudi journalist arrested in France

A suspect linked to the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been arrested in France, Reuters has reported, citing a French police source.

The man was detained at the Roissy airport near Paris as he was about to board a flight to Riyadh, French RTL radio reported.

A French police source also told Reuters the detainee was Khaled Aedh Al-Otaibi, a former Royal Guard of Saudi Arabia, and extradition proceedings to Turkey were set to begin.

Jamal Khashoggi: How journalist met his death inside Saudi consulate in Istanbul

He was on a French wanted list and was arrested on the basis of a warrant issued by Turkey in 2019, the source said.

The arrest came just days after French President Emmanuel Macron held face-to-face talks in Saudi Arabia with de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, becoming the first major Western leader to visit the kingdom since Mr Khashoggi’s murder.

Mr Khashoggi was a Saudi-born US resident and a reporter who was a frequent critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

He was murdered and dismembered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul three years ago by a team of men linked to the crown prince.

His body has never been found.

An intelligence report, contributed to mostly by the CIA, found that bin Salman is likely to have approved an operation to kill or capture the journalist but the crown prince has denied any involvement.

Saudi Arabia has previously said Mr Khashoggi was killed in a rogue operation by a rendition squad.

Five people were sentenced to death after a secret trial, according to the country’s public prosecutor.

Last year, Saudi Arabian courts announced they had sentenced eight Saudi nationals to prison but they were not identified.

Earlier this month, Mr Khashoggi’s fiancée Hatice Cengiz, urged Justin Bieber to cancel his December performance in the country, saying he should instead “send a powerful message to the world” that his name “will not be used to restore the reputation of a regime that kills its critics”.

The Grammy-award winner is due to sing in the city of Jeddah on 5 December as the country hosts the Formula One Saudi Arabian Grand Prix.

In an open letter published in the Washington Post, Ms Cengiz wrote: “Do not sing for the murderers of my beloved Jamal.

“Please speak out and condemn his killer, Mohammed bin Salman. Your voice will be heard by millions.

“If you refuse to be a pawn of MBS, your message will be loud and clear: I do not perform for dictators. I choose justice and freedom over money,” she continued, using the crown prince’s initials.

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