As Mohammed bin Salman of Saudi Crown Prince has undergone ambitious social reforms, he has ordered zero tolerance against his most trusted trust in Jamal Khashogg journalist's assassination.
Knowing the work of Saud al-Qahtani, he was closely involved in the management of the kingdom Khashoggi – efforts to persuade him to return to Saudi Arabia from the United States for planning and carrying out the operation and his death at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, October 2 cent. He is in criminal proceedings, saying these people and was fired for his work as the crown prince's media advisor.
Mr Qahtani's alleged role in the murder complicates Saudi Arabia's efforts to separate its de facto leader, Prince Mohammed, from a murder that has triggered a diplomatic crisis for the kingdom and deeply suffered in the royal court.
"Regardless of whether he knows about it," said a Western official from the Crown Prince, it was in the class.
Mr Qahtani and the representatives of the Saudi government did not respond to comments.
The Saudi government has repeatedly denied that Prince Mohammed was directly aware of the operation despite Turkish and Western officials still suspecting that they should know about it. The prince condemned the murder as "a vicious incident" and promised to give justice.
This account of Mr Qahtani's role in targeting Mr. Khashoggi and other disbelievers is based on interviews with members of the Saudi royal family, government advisers, Western officials, activists, and other Mr. Qahtani and his work.
The 40-year-old, though nominee, the media advocate of the prince was in fact the right-hand man of the Saudi ruler and was under the influence of domestic and foreign affairs. The Crown Prince also called on Mr Qahtann to pursue his counterparts last year, some of whom said it.
Mr. Qahtani's first target was Mr. Khashoggi, a previously insider undercover government critic whose spicy tweets and columns in the Washington Post could irritate the royal court. First he used Mr. Qahtani's sister on behalf of his boss to bring him back.
"The Crown Prince appreciates your role as an editor," said the messenger, Mr. Qahtani, said Mr. Khashoggi to WhatsApp, a journalist's friend. – He wants to get back in Saudi Arabia.
When the reporter refused to return to the United States, the Saudi government banned Salah from leaving his son.
Cliff Owen / Associated Press
"I can not believe you are sitting so low and targeting family members," Khashoggi told Mr. Qahtani after learning about Salah's travel ban, a friend of the journalist who knew WhatsApp's message exchange. Mr. Qahtani never replied. The Saudi government lifted the ban last week.
When Mr. Khashoggi entered Istanbul for a meeting on October 2, he was waiting for a co-operative from 18 Riyadh. The consular officer planning the meeting contacted Mr Qahtani, two people admitted the matter.
Another reliable employee of Mohammed Ahmed al-Assiri, head of intelligence department in Saudi Arabia, who worked closely with Mr Qahtani as a military operation spokesman for Saudi leadership in a coalition fight in Yemen.
Mrs Assiri received the order to collect and send the team to Istanbul from Mr Qahtani, and more people knew the matter.
"Saud al-Qahtani impressed what he said what the MBS wanted," said the investigator's acquaintance using the abbreviation used by Prince Mohammed.
Cooperatives from Riyadh to Turkey flew to two Gulfstream nozzles operated by Sky Prime Aviation Services Ltd., Prince of Mohammed. Mr. Qahtani is responsible for approving the use of these nozzles, three people who know the material.
The Turkish authorities say that the journalist was put to death and shortly after he entered the consulate, he broke up. The Saudi government acknowledged that the murder was likely to reflect on it.
So far, 18 Saudi officials have been detained until the killings investigation results. Like Mr Qahtani, General Assiri is also under criminal investigation into the alleged role of Khashoggi in resolving and covering his death. While his movements are limited and not detained, according to people familiar with the case.
Both were fired King Salman after receiving information on the evidence gathered by the Turkish authorities. Princess Mohammed was deeply shocked by his father's decision to remove Mr. Qahtani's office, two people knew the case. Obviously, he replied that "Saud was the one who kept this place," one of them said.
Mr Qahtani first joined the royal court under the former ruler, King Abdullah. But his rise was dramatically raised by King Salman and his son, Duke of Mohammed, in 2015, when Mr Qahtani was formally appointed as a consultant to the royal court ruling of the minister.
Under the patronage of Prince Mohammed, Mr. Qahtani tightened the control of the domestic press and set up a team of 3,000 people to track and intimidate critics in community media and spread government messages.
In the United States, Mr. Khashoggi sought to resist Mr. Qahtani's government efforts to compile a rival online team with a prominent Saudi dissident in Canada, Omar Abdulaziz. "Not that," said Mr. Abdulaziz, Mr. Qahtani. "This system."
He added, "As long as MBS is in danger, we are."
Mr Qahtani also played a leading role behind the most controversial decisions of Duke Mohammed, including the dissolution of relations with Katar and the arrest of women's rights activists.
As Saudis was hunted online in rival Qatar, Qahtani wrote on Twitter in August 2017: "Do you think I make decisions without guidance? I am the commander and executor of the King and Crown Prince."
The first opportunity to reduce dissidents, Mr. Qahtani often liked flattery. Last year he sent a direct message to Twitter Manal al-Sharif, a leading Saudi legal activist in Australia who wrote an article on the king's decision to abolish women's driving ban and point out the barriers that women still face .
"Sister Hello, Manal, is a good article." God bless my dear brother. Let me know if there is any need for some kind of service, "he said in a message read by The Wall Street Journal.
Mr. Qahtani said he would help get Saudi water to Australia in Australia for both to travel to the kingdom – an offer initially greeted by al-Sharif but later suspected of returning to Saudi Arabia.
At the same time, Mr. Qahtani carried out a campaign that silenced women's rights activists. Among the targets are Loujain al-Hathloul, who lived in the United Arab Emirates when the local authorities pulled him out of his car in March and transported to Saudi Arabia.
Ms. al-Hathloul was one of at least 14 civil law activists who were arrested in Saudi Arabia in May. When asked about the arrests, Mr. Qahtani telephoned a person to "let them know that no one could overthrow the arm of the government," said the conversant.
His former colleague said Mr. Qahtani was trying to silence his opponent on behalf of his boss. "If you really ordered this," he said of the assassination of a former colleague of Mr. Khashoggi, then each step was wrongly reported.
Write to him Margherita Stancati at [email protected] and summer in [email protected]