Saudi Authorities Say Man Arrested in France Has ‘Nothing to Do’ with Killing of Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Saudi authorities said on Dec. 7 that the man French police arrested in Paris has “nothing to do” with the 2018 murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Earlier in the day, French RTL radio reported that police took Khalid Aedh al-Otaibi, 33, into custody at the Charles de Gaulle airport when he was about to board a plane at 9:30 a.m. local time in suspicion of being involved in the murder of Washington Post columnist Khashoggi.

However, a statement from the Saudi Embassy in France said that the media reports were “incorrect.”

“The person who was arrested has nothing to do with the case in question,” the Embassy said, adding that they are expecting for the man’s immediate release.

The Embassy further said that the Saudi judiciary has already convicted those involved in the crime, who are all currently serving their prison sentences.

A spokesperson for the Paris court told CNN that if the suspect’s identity is confirmed to be al-Otaibi, he will appear in court for a preliminary hearing on Dec. 8.

Al-Otaibi is suspected to be one of the 26 Saudis wanted by Turkey and one of the 17 individuals sanctioned by the United States over the murder.

Al-Otaibi is also on the wanted lists of the European Union and the United Nations (UN).

According to an investigation into the murder by former UN Special Rapporteur of Extrajudicial Killings Agnes Callamard, Al-Otaibi was a personal security officer for the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom U.S. intelligence accused of approving the murder.

Khashoggi had close ties to the royal court and was a prominent critic of the prince in 2018.

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