The Saudi and American governments are desperately trying to protect Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from accountability in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Both are trying to use the members of the hit team sent to Istanbul as scapegoats.
The Saudis announced that the trials of 11 individuals involved in the murder are ready, and five of them will be charged with the death penalty. The announcement is another change of story by Riyadh. First it denied Khashoggi was dead and insisted that he had freely left the consulate on Oct. 2. Then it claimed that he died in a fistfight. Then it was characterized as a premeditated murder ordered by the deputy chief of Saudi intelligence. Now it is supposedly a rendition attempt that went amiss and that Khashoggi was deliberately given an overdose of drugs. The team then lied to the deputy chief of Saudi intelligence to cover up their botched mission. An unnamed local collaborator assisted in disposing of the body.