Saudi named in report on Khashoggi murder becomes UAE envoy

A vigil for Jamal Khashoggi. (Bloomberg pic)

DUBAI: A top aide who reportedly heard Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman threaten to use “a bullet” on Jamal Khashoggi was sworn in Sunday as the kingdom’s new ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

Turki Aldakhil, a former general manager of Al Arabiya television, was sworn in by King Salman along with other new ambassadors, state-run SPA news agency reported.

A year before Khashoggi was murdered Oct 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Prince Mohammed told Aldakhil that he’d use a bullet if Khashoggi didn’t return to the kingdom and stop criticising the government from his perch in the US, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

The Times, citing unidentified current and former US intelligence officials, said the 2017 conversation was intercepted by US spy agencies. Aldakhil denied the allegation in a statement to the newspaper.

Khashoggi, an insider-turned-critic of the Saudi ruling regime, was killed and dismembered by people close to the crown prince after entering to pick up documents for his wedding. Saudi Arabia has said the crown prince, who is the kingdom’s 33-year-old de facto ruler, was not aware of any plan to kill him.