A US intelligence report has said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman approved a plan to either "capture" or "kill" journalist Jamal Khashoggi.
Khashoggi was a columnist for The Washington Post, and was critical of the Crown Prince and his policies.
Following the intelligence report, the US announced sanctions and visa bans on some Saudi citizens possibly involved in the killing, but did not impose sanctions on the Crown Prince himself.
When was Khashoggi murdered?
Khashoggi was murdered in 2018 during a visit to the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
According to media reports, the 59-year-old had visited the consulate on October 2, 2018, to obtain a document certifying his divorce from his ex-wife, so that he could marry his Turkish fiance Cengiz.
Saudi authorities issued a statement on his disappearance the next day, but confirmed his death only two weeks later on October 20.
Turkish officials say Khashoggi's body was dismembered, and the remains have not been found till date.
In 2020, a Saudi Arabian court jailed eight people for between seven and 20 years in connection with Khashoggi's murder. The death sentences of five of these individuals were commuted after Khashoggi's family forgave them.What was Saudi Arabia's reaction to the US intelligence report?
Saudi Arabia has rejected the findings of the US intelligence report, repeating its stance that the killing was done in a "rogue operation".
"The government of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia completely rejects the...assessment in the report pertaining to the Kingdom's leadership, and notes that the report contained inaccurate information and conclusions," the Saudi Foreign Ministry said in a statement carried by state news agency SPA.
"The crime was committed by a group of individuals that have transgressed all pertinent regulations...and the kingdom's leadership took the necessary steps to ensure that such a tragedy never takes place again," the foreign ministry statement added.
What happens to US-Saudi Arabia relations?
During his campaign, US President Joe Biden had promised to realign the US' relationship with Saudi Arabia, which could possibly hint at a greater scrutiny on human rights violations by the latter.
"What we've done...is not to rupture the relationship, but to recalibrate to be more in line with our interests and our values," Secretary of State Antony Blinken said, as quoted by Reuters, after the report was released.Biden's predecessor Donald Trump had rejected a legal requirement to release the report.