Orders by a “member of the royal circle” to abduct dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi were intercepted by the British intelligence, a report says, adding that they “did not emanate directly” from Saudi de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman.
“It is not known if he was aware of them,” read a Sunday Express report.
Citing intelligence sources, the weekly claimed that British Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) found out about the Saudi plan and “begged” Saudis to stop it.
“We know the orders came from a member of the royal circle but have no direct information to link them to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman… Whether this meant he was not the original issuer we cannot say,” the intelligence source was cited as saying.
An earlier report said Khashoggi, who was recently murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, intended to disclose details of Saudi Arabia’s use of banned chemical weapons in Yemen.