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France frees man who was held over suspected Khashoggi link

file photo: saudi dissident jamal khashoggi speaks at an event hosted by middle east monitor in london
Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi

The Saudi man arrested at a Paris airport over suspected links to the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was released on Wednesday after officials concluded it was a case of mistaken identity, Paris prosecutors said.

French law enforcement sources on Tuesday named the man as Khaled Aedh Al-Otaibi, the same name as a former member of the Saudi Royal Guard listed in U.S. and British sanctions documents and a U.N.-commissioned report as having been involved in Khashoggi’s killing in Turkey.

The Saudi Embassy in Paris had said late on Tuesday the arrested person “has nothing to do with the case in question.”

Prosecutors said in a statement checks had shown that a warrant issued by Turkey, which had triggered the arrest when the man’s passport was scanned during border checks, did not apply to the man arrested at the airport.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post journalist and critic of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was last seen entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2, 2018. Turkish officials believe his body was dismembered and removed. His remains have not been found.

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