France seeks to identify suspect in death of Saudi journalist – .

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A suspect in the murder of a Saudi journalist arrested in France – .


PARIS – French authorities rushed on Wednesday to verify the identity of a suspect in the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi who was arrested at an airport near Paris.
A judicial official told The Associated Press the suspect could be detained until Thursday morning, 48 hours after being detained at Paris-Charles De Gaulle airport under a 2019 Turkish arrest warrant .

The official requested anonymity in accordance with the customary practices of French justice.

French radio station RTL said a Saudi national named Khalid Aedh al-Otaibi was arrested on Tuesday as he tried to board a flight to Riyadh, the capital of Saudi Arabia. .

However, the Saudi Embassy in Paris said it was a mistaken identity and that the arrested man “had nothing to do with the case in question”, and awaits his immediate release.

Al-Otaibi was one of more than a dozen Saudi officials sanctioned by the US Treasury in 2018 for the murder and dismemberment of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

He was also mentioned in a declassified US intelligence report that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman “approved” the operation to kill Khashoggi. The report used an alternate English transliteration of the surname of Al-Otaibi.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist, was a former Saudi insider with royal court ties who openly criticized Saudi Arabia and the policies of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman as the kingdom attempted to recast the prince into a reformer.

Men close to bin Salman are accused of having killed and dismembered the journalist at the consulate in Istanbul, where he went in October 2018 to obtain the documents he needed for his next marriage.

If the identity of the suspect is confirmed, Turkey could request his extradition from France to be charged.

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