French police arrest Saudi citizen for killing Khashoggi

French police arrested a Saudi citizen suspected of involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi as he was preparing to board a flight to Riyadh, according to French media.

The arrest comes days after French President Emmanuel Macron visited Saudi Arabia in an effort to improve relations with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

A man wanted for murder in Turkey was detained at Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris on Tuesday as he prepared to board a plane to the Saudi capital, a police official said. closely told the FT. French prosecutors will have to decide whether to proceed with his extradition to Turkey or keep him in prison if he defies the order, the official added.

French radio RTL and AFP have identified the man, adding that police are still checking his identity. They said the murder charges in the Interpol subpoena – issued by Turkey – were related to Khashoggi’s murder.

Murder of 2018 sparked a wave of outcry around the world. Khashoggi is an outspoken critic of the crown prince of Saudi Arabia and one of the kingdom’s most famous journalists. He was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and his body was fragmented. US intelligence concluded in a report made public this year that Crown Prince Mohammed approved of Khashoggi’s activities, although he has denied involvement.

The arrest came shortly after Macron overcame criticism from human rights groups over his visit to Saudi Arabia, when he became the first Western leader to return to visit Crown Prince Mohammed in the kingdom. country after the murder of Khashoggi.

Macron told reporters on Saturday that he discussed human rights with the crown prince, with “nothing taboo” and resolved the Khashoggi case in “direct” negotiations, but said France must say Talk to all parties to help with peace negotiations in the region. “It doesn’t mean we approve or we forget,” Macron said. In Jeddah, the state-owned Saudi Arabian Military Industry Corporation announced a joint venture with French companies Airbus and Figeac Aéro.

The arrest threatens to strain relations between the two countries. The man named by French media is believed to be among 17 Saudis sanctioned by the US Treasury Department in 2018 for their role in Khashoggi’s murder.

Saudi Arabia has denied Crown Prince Mohammed’s crime in the murder, insisting it was a fraudulent operation.

The kingdom later sentenced eight people to prison for unidentified murder. Two senior aides suspected of being involved in Khashoggi’s murder, Crown Prince Mohammed’s assistant Saud al-Qahtani and deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Asiri, have been cleared of wrongdoing.

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