PARIS (REUTERS) – One of the suspected killers of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was arrested at Roissy airport near Paris on Tuesday (Dec 7) as he was about to board a flight to Riyadh, a police source told Reuters.
The arrested person was on a French wanted list, the source said, confirming news of the arrest, first mentioned by RTL radio.
The source named the detainee as Khaled Aedh Al-Otaibi, a former Royal Guard of Saudi Arabia who is believed to have been involved in the killing of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul three years ago.
He was arrested on the basis of a warrant issued by Turkey in 2019, the source said, adding that French prosecutors would now begin proceedings for a potential extradition there.
The French Interior Ministry declined to comment.
Khashoggi, a critic of de facto Saudi ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct 2, 2018. Turkish officials believe his body was dismembered and removed. His remains have not been found.
The reports of Tuesday’s arrest came just days after French President Emmanuel Macron held face-to-face talks in Saudi Arabia on Saturday with Prince Mohammed, becoming the first major Western leader to visit the kingdom since Khashoggi’s murder.
A US intelligence report released in March said Prince Mohammed had approved the operation to kill or capture Khashoggi. The Saudi government has denied any involvement by the crown prince and rejected the report’s findings.
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