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France Frees Saudi Arrested over Journalist’s Murder

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France has released a Saudi man arrested yesterday for being involved in Jamal Khashoggi’s murder.

Khaled Alotaibi, 33, was arrested at an airport in France on Tuesday on the basis of a warrant issued by Turkey.

Khaled Aedh Alotaibi is one of 26 Saudis charged in absentia by Turkey over the killing, in a trial that got under way in October 2020. Two of the 26 being tried in absentia in Turkey are former aides to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Alotaibi is also one of 17 people whom the US Treasury designated for sanctions in 2018 over their role in the murder. He is also under Canadian and British sanctions.

However, Saudi authorities said that a man arrested in Paris over the murder of Jamal Khashoggi had nothing to do with the case and should be released immediately.

Khashoggi, a US-based Saudi journalist, was a critic of the Saudi government.

Saudi prosecutors said he was killed in a “rogue operation” by a team of agents sent to persuade him to return to the kingdom.

But a UN investigator concluded that Khashoggi was “the victim of a deliberate, premeditated execution” and said there was credible evidence that high-level Saudi officials, including Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, were involved.

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