The Saudi embassy in Paris said Tuesday that a Saudi national arrested as a suspect in the 2018 killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi has no connection with the case.
French police earlier Tuesday arrested a man suspected of being a member of the hit squad that murdered Khashoggi at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul, and investigators were seeking to confirm that the man carrying a passport in the name of Khalid Alotaibi was indeed the man being sought in connection with the gruesome murder.
“The person who was arrested has nothing to do with the case in question,” the embassy said in a statement. “Therefore, the kingdom’s embassy expects his immediate release”.
The embassy said that the Saudi judiciary had already issued verdicts against “all those who participated in the heinous murder of Jamal Khashoggi” and that they were serving their sentences.
In September 2020, a Saudi court overturned five death sentences issued after a closed-door trial in Saudi Arabia, sentencing the accused to 20 years in prison instead.
On the French side, checks were meanwhile still underway on Tuesday evening to ensure that police were holding the right man, a source close to the case said, noting that his detention could last up to 48 hours.