Riyadh: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman has said that he bears the responsibility of the killing of journalist and government critic Jamal Khashoggi as it "happened under my watch", Frontline PBS reported.
Salman's comments will appear in a PBS documentary on the killing of Khashoggi last year as a result of a "rogue operation" in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. In an apparent off-camera exchange with PBS's Martin Smith, the Prince, who is not shown in the documentary preview video, said that he "gets all the responsibility" for Khashoggi's murder because "it happened under my watch", Sputnik news agency reported.
On being asked how the murder could happen without him being aware of it, Salman responded, as quoted by Smith, that his nation has "20 million people, 3 million government employees". When asked whether the killer could have taken private government jets, the Saudi Crown Prince reported, "I have officials, ministers to follow things, and they're responsible. They have the authority to do that."
Khashoggi, who was a journalist with The Washington Post and a vocal critic of the Saudi regime, was killed on October 2 last year in Turkey where he had gone to obtain paperwork certifying his divorce from his former wife Alaa Nassif in order to be able to marry his Turkish fiancee Hatice Cengiz.
After presenting several contradictory theories, Saudi Arabia acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate premises in what it had described as a "rogue operation". According to US intelligence agencies, Khashoggi's murder was enacted upon orders given by Mohammad bin Salman.