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Admitting identity blunder, France frees man arrested in Khashoggi murder

19 2 1
09.12.2021

PARIS, France (AFP) — French authorities on Wednesday released a man arrested on suspicion of playing a role in the 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul after determining he had been a victim of mistaken identity.

The man, bearing a passport in the name of Khalid al-Otaibi, was “quickly” able to head for Riyadh, the Saudi embassy in Paris said in a statement, adding that its diplomats had visited him during his detention.

French border police had arrested him at Paris’s main airport on Tuesday as he prepared to board a flight to Riyadh.

Police and judicial sources initially told French media that he was the Khalid al-Otaibi wanted under an international arrest warrant for being part of the hit squad that carried out Khashoggi’s murder at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“In-depth verifications to determine the identity of this person have enabled us to establish that the warrant was not applicable to him,” the chief prosecutor in Paris, Remy Heitz, said in a statement that admitted to the blunder.

“He has been released,” it added, dashing the hopes of campaigners and loved ones who thought the detention spelled a major breakthrough in their quest to bring the perpetrators to justice.

“I only would like to say that I will continue to seek justice in any case,”........

© The Times of Israel


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