The Kremlin said Friday that Russia believes Saudi royals were not involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi after Russian President Vladimir Putin discussed it with Saudi King Salman.
Asked by a journalist whether the Kremlin fully believes that the Saudi royal family played no part in the murder in Istanbul, Putin’s spokesman Dmitry Peskov said that the question was “inappropriate.”
“There’s an official statement from the king, there’s an official statement from the Crown Prince (Mohammad bin Salman) and no one should have any grounds not to believe them,” Peskov said.
Putin spoke to the 82-year-old Saudi king by telephone on Thursday evening and they discussed “the situation around the case of Khashoggi,” the Kremlin said in a statement.
Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributing columnist who had criticized policies of powerful Prince Mohammed, had been self-exiled in the United States for about a year.
He was killed on October 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, but his body has not been found. Turkish media have published details of his alleged torture and decapitation.
Prince Mohammed, the kingdom’s de facto ruler, this week denounced what he called the “repulsive murder” in his first public comments on the case.
Asked about the prince’s possible involvement in the killing, US President Donald Trump told the Wall Street Journal on Tuesday: “Well, the prince is running things over there… so if anybody were going to be, it would be him.”