Saudi Prince Approved Khashoggi’s Death, U.S. Report Says

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Hatice Cengiz, Mr. Khashoggi’s fiancée, has sued Prince Mohammed and other Saudi officials in American courts under the Torture Victim Protection Act of 1991.

Turkish intelligence made a tape of Mr. Khashoggi’s interrogation and killing, which they played for Gina Haspel, then the C.I.A. director. Not long after, the agency told lawmakers that it had concluded Prince Mohammed was culpable in the killing.

Because the recording was collected by Turkey, an allied country, it was not within the power of the C.I.A. to declassify a transcript of the recording, at least not without the blessing of Ankara, current and former officials said.

The report was not expected to officially confirm other details of the murder, such as the hit team’s use of a bone saw, the assassins’ request that a message be passed to Prince Mohammed that their mission was complete or the crown prince’s earlier threats to use a bullet to silence Mr. Khashoggi.

Such details are part of the mosaic of facts that led the C.I.A. to conclude Prince Mohammed gave the order to kill Mr. Khashoggi. But the entire set of facts the C.I.A. used to draw its conclusion remains classified to protect the agency’s sources of information and methods of collecting secrets in the kingdom, according to American officials.

After Mr. Khashoggi’s killing became public, Saudi officials sought to deflect blame from the crown prince. The Saudi government imprisoned eight people in connection with Mr. Khashoggi’s death, trying them largely secretively. Although five were originally sentenced to death, after one of Mr. Khashoggi’s sons said he and his siblings had forgiven the men who killed their father, a Saudi court reduced the sentences to prison terms.

In November 2018, President Donald J. Trump released an exclamation-filled statement, which was at once dissembling and candid. Aiming to move past Mr. Khashoggi’s killing and continue his close relationship with the Saudi government, Mr. Trump talked about the importance of arms sales and the threat of Iran and said Prince Mohammed’s involvement was uncertain. “Our intelligence agencies continue to assess all information,” Mr. Trump wrote, “but it could very well be that the Crown Prince had knowledge of this tragic event — maybe he did and maybe he didn’t!”

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