According to recently filed court documents, seen by CNN, the two private jets used in the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi belonged to a company that had been seized by Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman (MBS), less than a year before the killing. The Washington Post columnist was allegedly dismembered by a Saudi assassination squad in Istanbul, Turkey.
The documents were filed as a part of a civil law suit in Canada. They are labeled ‘Top Secret’ and are signed by a Saudi minister, who said that they were relayed as per the orders of the crown prince.
The filings show that the ownership of Sky Prime Aviation was transferred, in 2017, into Saudi’s $400 billion sovereign wealth fund, which is under the control of the Saudi crown and its chairman is MBS. Two planes from this company were used for the assassination of Khashoggi in October 2018.
The documents showing the link between the planes and the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia. These documents were filed by a group of companies owned by Saudi Arabia as part of an embezzlement suit in Canada. The suit was against a former top intellectual official of the Saudi State, Aljabri.
Last year, Aljabri filed a lawsuit in Washington, DC against MBS accusing him of sending an assassination team to Canada to kill him. This attempt allegedly took place days after Khashoggi was murdered. A summons was served to the de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia via WhatsApp. In December, a lawyer asked for case dismissal.
There were no previous reports indicating that the ownership of the fleet of private planes, from Sky Prime Aviation, had been transferred to Saudi Arabia’s Public Investment Fund, before the killing.
In October 2018, the Wall Street Journal had reported that the Gulfstream jets, used by the killer squad, were owned by a company under MBS’s control, according to people familiar with the matter.
Both the CIA and a United Nations investigator felt that it was “inconceivable” that MBS was unaware of the operation and the suspects given prison sentences for the killing were what the investigator called “a parody of justice” as the lowest level of offenders were sentenced, while the higher ups have not faced justice.
The new revelations have not as yet got any response from Saudi officials either in Washington or in Riyadh. MBS had denied that he had ordered the death of the journalist though he had said that he bears responsibility for the assassination of Jamal Khashoggi.