Suspect in 2018 killing of Jamal Khashoggi arrested in France

The Saudi national suspect is one of 26 Saudi nationals suspected in the allegedly brutal murder of Khashoggi

Updated: December 7, 2021 - 2:59pm

A Saudi citizen suspected of involvement in the 2018 murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi has been arrested in France.

Khaled Aedh Al-Otaibi, 33, was arrested Tuesday at Charles de Gaulle airport. He is one of 26 Saudi nationals who are wanted in connection with Khashoggi's killing in Turkey.

Al-Otaibi was traveling under his own name and due to board a flight back to Riyadh when he was arrested after being put on the Interpol red list.

He is scheduled to appear Tuesday before a French judge, who will give him the option of being flown to Turkey or contesting the Turkish arrest warrant and remaining in France until the extradition process plays out.

A Turkish court is currently trying the 26 Saudis in absentia for their involvement in the alleged 2018 murder.

The suspect had previously been sanctioned by the U.S. as one of 17 individuals who was allegedly involving in the killing of Khashoggi. It is reportedly the case that he is a former member of the Saudi royal guard and was present at the consulate in Istanbul on the day of the murder.

Khashoggi, a Saudi by birth, went to the country's consulate in Istanbul in October 2018 to arrange for a marriage license.

He had long been a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and made as much clear in his Washington Post columns. He never emerged from that visit, allegedly having been killed by a hit squad and removed from the building via suitcase. 

In late February of this year, the Biden administration said it had determined that the Saudi crown prince approved an operation to "capture or kill" the journalist.

The Saudi Foreign Ministry wholesale rejected what they called "the negative, false and unacceptable" assessment of the U.S. intelligence report.