Middle East Eye editor-in-chief David Hearst described Mohammed bin Salman as a dictator, attacking him heavily on the murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi more than a year ago.
This came during a session held on the second day of the forum “TRT WORLD”, entitled “The murder of Jamal Khashoggi, is it a reflection of regional geopolitics?”.
Hearst said that after the heinous assassination of Khashoggi, the image of Mohammed bin Salman was shaken on the British and American streets.
“He (Salman) did not dare to visit these two countries recently, even if he managed to attend the summit of the 20 leaders, but he no longer wanders in those streets freely, for fear of the reaction of the people there,” he said, adding that “nevertheless dictatorship has not changed Ibn Salman something back.”
Hearst confirmed that Khashoggi had many targeted projects, which led to his death at his country’s consulate in Istanbul.
“Khashoggi was seeking to establish a training institute and launch the Arabic New York Times,” Hearst said.
He explained that “the main reason behind all these ideas, is to provide more information to the Arab world, he had a passion for training, he was not only thinking about his friends in prison, but he felt the responsibility towards them, they silenced Gamal because of his over-activity.”
The British journalist said he was still unable to accept Khashoggi’s absence, wishing he was “somewhere or hiding in a boat. I hope the popular rumors that he is being held somewhere are true.”
“Turkish officials have said a lot that Khashoggi did not get out of the consulate building, but as soon as the information became clear about his death, I became more and more annoyed, until it turned into a nightmare,” he said.
He described Khashoggi as “a moderate adversary who wanted to return to his country”.
He said the purpose of Khashoggi’s murder was to silence the moderate criticism of Saudi Arabia in Washington.
On October 2, 2018, Khashoggi was killed inside his country’s consulate in Istanbul, and the case has been among the most prominent and the most widely discussed on the international agenda ever since.
After 18 days of denial, during which Riyadh provided conflicting explanations for the incident, the Kingdom announced the killing of Khashoggi following a “quarrel” with Saudi people, and the arrest of 18 citizens in the framework of investigations, without disclosing the location of the body.