Crown prince begins reform of Saudi intelligence services

Riyadh, Oct 26 (Arab News): Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman chaired the first meeting on Thursday of a special committee to reform Saudi Arabia’s intelligence services.

The restructuring was ordered by King Salman after the murder in Istanbul of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

The committee assessed the General Intelligence Presidency’s current organizational structure and identified any gaps in its legal framework, policies and procedures. Khashoggi, 59, a Saudi journalist resident in the US, was killed in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, after he visited to complete paperwork related to his divorce.

Saudi Arabia has said his death was the result of a “rogue operation” by people acting beyond the scope of their authority, and 18 Saudis have been arrested.

As the investigation continues, the Saudi public prosecution said on Thursday the killing was premeditated.

“Information from the Turkish authorities indicates that the act of the suspects in the Khashoggi case was premeditated,” Attorney General Sheikh Saud Al-Mojeb’s office said.

“The public prosecution continues its investigation with suspects... to complete the course of justice.”

The crown prince told the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh on Wednesday “justice will prevail” in the Khashoggi case.

“The incident was very painful for all Saudis. It was a repulsive incident, and no one can justify it,” he said.

Prince Mohammed said Saudi Arabia and Turkey would work together “to reach results” and he described cooperation between the two countries as “special.”