Saudi Crown Prince Phoned Khashoggi at Consulate Before His Murder

Prince 'offered' to let Khashoggi return to Riyadh

Saudi Arabia’s various versions of the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi all center on one vital point, that the crown prince knew nothing and was totally uninvolved. A new report in Turkish media is threatening to blow this report wide open.

Turkey’s Yeni Safak, which has broken previous information on the case, says that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman called the consulate and spoke to Khashoggi by phone immediately before his murder.

The report cites Turkish officials as saying Khashoggi was detained by the 15-man kill team, at which point the prince called and “offered” to let him return to Riyadh. Khashoggi refused, unsurprisingly. He was killed almost immediately thereafter by the kill team.

Saudi officials had been trying to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia for years, offering him high-profile jobs. Khashoggi had confided in others that he was sure he’d be murdered if he returned to Saudi Arabia, and that they’d never keep their promises of safety.

If the crown prince made that call at that particular moment, while a team with a lot of his closest contacts “detaining” Khashoggi, that would be a substantial reason to believe that he was involved in the scheme, and knew what happened. It’s the one thing the Saudis dare not admit to, but seems increasingly certain whether they admit to it or not.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.