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Prince Mohammed bin Salman: I take responsibility for murder of Saudi writer

SAUDI ARABIA’S crown prince says he takes ‘full responsibility’ for the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Deputy prime minister and de facto ruler Mohammed bin Salman told the US TV programme 60 Minutes that the dissident’s killing was a ‘heinous crime committed by individuals working for the Saudi government’.

But he denied that he ordered the murder — insisting it was a ‘mistake’.

Mr Khashoggi (pictured top) entered the Saudi consulate in Turkey on October 2 last year and did not come out.

Admission: Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

His body has never been found. Saudi Arabia has charged 11 people over Mr Khashoggi’s death. Asked if he ordered the murder of the 59-year-old father-of-four, who had criticised him in columns for The Washington Post, Prince Mohammed, 34, replied: ‘Absolutely not.’

He added: ‘Some think that I should know what 3million people working for the Saudi government do daily. It’s impossible that the 3million would send their daily reports to the leader or the second-highest person in the Saudi government.’

Last week, Mr Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, told the Associated Press that responsibility for Mr Khashoggi’s killing ‘was not limited to the perpetrators’.

She said she wanted the crown prince to tell her: ‘Why was Jamal killed? Where is his body? What was the motive for this murder?’

■ OIL prices will hit ‘unimaginably high’ levels if the world does not act to deter Iran, Mohammed bin Salman said yesterday. He issued his warning after the attacks on two of his key oil sites were linked to the Islamic republic. The Middle East ‘represents 30 per cent of the world’s energy supplies, 20 per cent of trade passages and four per cent of GDP’, he said. ‘Imagine all these stop,’ he added. ‘(It would) mean a total collapse of the global economy.’