Saudi named in report on Khashoggi murder becomes UAE envoy

Books dedicated to murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are displayed during a presentation in Istanbul on Feb 8, 2019.
Books dedicated to murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi are displayed during a presentation in Istanbul on Feb 8, 2019.PHOTO: AFP

DUBAI (BLOOMBERG) - A top aide who reportedly heard Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman threaten to use "a bullet" on murdered Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was sworn in on Sunday (Feb 10) as the kingdom's new ambassador to the United Arab Emirates.

Mr Turki Aldakhil, a former general manager of Al Arabiya television, was sworn in by King Salman along with other new ambassadors, state-run SPA news agency reported.

A year before Mr Khashoggi was murdered on Oct 2 in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Prince Mohammed told Mr Aldakhil that he'd use that bullet if Mr Khashoggi didn't return to the kingdom and stop criticising the government from his perch in the US, the New York Times reported on Thursday.

The Times, citing unidentified current and former US intelligence officials, said the 2017 conversation was intercepted by US spy agencies. Mr Aldakhil denied the allegation in a statement to the newspaper.

Mr Khashoggi, an insider-turned-critic of the Saudi ruling regime, was killed and dismembered by people close to the crown prince after entering to pick up documents for his wedding.

Saudi Arabia has said the crown prince, who is the kingdom's 33-year-old de facto ruler, was not aware of any plan to kill him.