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Man held over Khashoggi murder freed by France

The man was thought to be former Saudi Royal Guard Khalid Aedh Al-Otaibi who is one of 26 Saudi suspects wanted by Turkish authorities for the assassination of Khashoggi at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018

The Saudi man arrested at a Paris airport yesterday over suspected links to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was released today after officials concluded it was a case of mistaken identity, Paris prosecutors said, Reuters reports.

French law enforcement sources named the man Khaled Aedh Al-Otaibi, the same name as a former member of the Saudi Royal Guard listed in US and British sanctions documents and a UN-commissioned report as having been involved in Khashoggi's killing in Turkey.

The Saudi Embassy in Paris had said late yesterday the arrested person "has nothing to do with the case in question."

READ: UN reiterates need to hold Khashoggi killers to account

Prosecutors said checks had shown that a warrant issued by Turkey, which had triggered the arrest when the man's passport was scanned during border checks, did not apply to the man arrested at the airport.

"Extensive checks on the identity of this person showed that the warrant did not apply to him… he was released," the statement from the prosecutor's office said.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist, and critic of Saudi Arabia's de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, was last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on 2 October 2018. Turkish officials believe his body was dismembered and removed. His remains have not been found.

MBS and truth about Khashoggi - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

MBS and truth about Khashoggi – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

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