Orignally published on 2021-12-07 19:02:44 by www.politico.eu
French authorities have arrested one of the men suspected of involvement in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to local media reports.
Khaled Aedh Al-Otaibi, a former member of the Saudi royal guard, was taken into custody Tuesday morning at Paris’ Charles de Gaulle airport, where he was traveling under his own name on the way to Riyadh, the Saudi capital. French radio station RTL first broke the story.
Al-Otaibi is one of 20 Saudis on the Interpol red list following the killing of Khashoggi, a prominent Saudi critic of the country’s royal family and a journalist for the Washington Post. Turkey issued warrants for the arrests in March 2019, five months after Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Riyadh has always maintained that Khashoggi’s death was caused by a “rogue operation.” But the country’s crown prince and de facto ruler, Mohammed bin Salman, has long been suspected of ordering the journalist’s murder. A U.N. expert has said there is “credible evidence” for the theory, which is also supported by U.S. intelligence agencies.
Because Khashoggi was murdered in Istanbul, Al-Otaibi will be subject to extradition proceedings to Turkey. He will be presented to the Paris public prosecutor’s office Wednesday morning.
The arrest closely follows French President Emmanuel Macron’s visit to Saudi Arabia, where he met with bin Salman — the first major trip for a Western leader to the kingdom since Khashoggi’s killing.