Saudi To Admit Khashoggi Killed During “Botched Interrogation”; Stocks Slump


If you anticipated that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman – having been backed into a corner by Turkish spooks who had bugged the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate – would swiftly seek to blame the death of regime insider-turned-critic Jamal Khashoggi on some unfortunate underling, then congratulations. You were right.

Just hours after a spokesman for the regime revealed that the ailing King Salman had ordered an independent investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance – a revelation that was effectively the first hint that the Saudis might soon be forced to admit their role in his disappearance – CNN is reporting that the kingdom is planning to announce that Khashoggi’s death was “an accident” and that he died during an interrogation at the consulate as Saudi officials had been attempting to rendition him back to Saudi Arabia.

Of course, Trump had warned that there would be “severe consequences” if the Saudi government was found to have ordered Khashoggi’s killing – a claim that immediately elicited a threatening response from the kingdom, which hinted that it could “weaponize” oil prices if the US dares to pursue sanctions against it. Pinning the killing on a negligent underling (despite numerous reports that the order had been handed down by MbS himself) is probably the easiest way to defuse what has metastasized over the past week into a full-blown diplomatic crisis.

Saudi stocks slumped on the report:


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