Court documents reveal that the two private jets used by journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s alleged killers belonged to a company that, less than a year earlier, had been seized by the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.
The documents, to which the CNN must access, are labeled “Top Secret” and were signed by a Saudi minister who transmitted the orders of the Crown Prince.
The process describes how ownership of the Sky Prime Aviation was transferred to the country’s $ 400 billion sovereign wealth fund in late 2017. The company’s planes were later used in the Khashoggi assassination in October 2018.
The documents establishing the link between the planes and the prince were presented by a group of Saudi state-owned companies as part of an embezzlement suit opened last month in Canada against a former Saudi intelligence official, Saad Aljabri.
Aljabri accused the Crown Prince of send a team to kill you in Canada few days after Khashoggi’s murder.
This evidence that ownership of the private aircraft fleet has been transferred to the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund has not been previously reported and provides another link between the death of Khashoggi and Mohammad bin Salman.
In October 2018, however, the The Wall Street Journal reported that the jets Gulfstream used by the assassins belonged to a company controlled by the Crown Prince.
“[Mohammad bin Salman] would be tracking [a empresa] e knew how it was used“Said Dan Hoffman, a former director of the CIA’s Middle East Division. “It’s just another potential evidence that you were inside it ”.
This Thursday, the United States intelligence community is due to release a report with new public details about those responsible for Khashoggi’s death.
Faisal Gill, lawyer for Khashoggi’s ex-fiancée, said his client was “pleasantly surprised” by the evidence of Bin Salman’s control over the Sky Prime Aviation.
“Any evidence that basically links Mohammad bin Salman and others, especially in a direct way, which we believe so, is extremely important. This to me is not just a hotline to kill Jamal, but also a direct line from him to try to cover it up using an airline which you have full control over, ”said Gill.
Khashoggi died inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018, in an attempt to keep the pressure on Riyadh.
According to the UN report, the killers fled quickly and headed for planes after killing the journalist. A jet, with the tail number HZ-SK1, had just landed that night. After 1h15 of landing, it took off again with six members of the Saudi team.
Four and a half hours later, the second plane, with tail number HZ-SK2, took off from Ataturk airport with seven more men on board.
The first jet flew across Cairo and the second by Dubai on the way back to Riyadh.
The last two members of the attack team flew a commercial plane from Istanbul to Riyadh.
After initially denying involvement in the Khashoggi assassination, the Riyadh authorities subsequently put forward several contradictory versions. Now, they maintain that Khashoggi was murdered during an operation no authorized by Saudi power.
Erdogan has said several times that he will not drop the case. The CIA report points to the high probability that the prince ordered death of the journalist.
In April last year, it was reported that Saudi officials had given Khashoggi’s four children “million dollar homes” and “five-digit monthly payments” as compensation for their father’s death.
Maria Campos, ZAP //