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Embattled Saudi heir apparent could be ousted in face saving move! King Salman could ‘ have Crown Prince replaced to restore the credibility of the monarchy’ – Fallout of his disastrous handling of the Khashoggi murder

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Sources say Saudi King could move to  ‘have Crown Prince replaced to restore the credibility of the monarchy’ after botched  attempts at containment of the fallout of writer’s killing
Observers say Saudi Arabia’s 82-year-old King Salman bin Abdulaziz is displeased with his designated successor’s disastrous handling of the Jamal Khashoggi murder
Saudi Crown Prince, Mohammed bin Salman, 33, is facing increasingly epic disaster in his efforts to deflect accusations of complicity in the killing of 59-year-old Khashoggi
The prominent Saudi journalist, a columnist for Washington Post was last seen entering Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2
Leaked audio tapes later suggest that Khashoggi, a vociferous critic of the Crown Prince, had been attacked and dismembered while still alive, within minutes of entering the consulate
The 15-man hit squad that killed Khashoggi arrived Turkey from Saudi Arabia, two hours before the killing, and departed
Immediately after demands for justice began, Saudis initially denied knowledge of the writer’s whereabouts, – later revised with a confirmation of his death and a kaleidoscope of shifting explanations and confirmation of his death
Leaders of important Western allies like Theresa May of Britain and US president Donald Trump has said the kingdom’s de facto ruler may be behind the death
UK’s former defense attaché to Saudi Arabia, Colonel Brian Lees, suggested believes the Saudi monarch may look to replace his son to restore credibility of monarchy
King Salman [right], shaking hands with Jamal Khashoggi's son and. The Crown Prince Mohammed Salman shaking hands with another man.JPG Scenes like this where the semi-retired monarch, King Salman bin Abdulaziz [right], stands shoulder to shoulder with the Crown Prince as they receive  Khashoggi’s son and another man may soon be a thing of the past. It has been said the aging king could drop his son from his post as the de facto ruler of the kingdom

The hastily crafted and embarrassing whodunit of a high profile murder may yet claim its biggest casualty in Saudi Arabia, as it emerges that King Salman could have his Crown Prince son replaced to restore the credibility of the monarchy amid turmoil over the Jamal Khashoggi murder,  United Kingdom’s former defence attaché to the kingdom has claimed.
Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman [MbS],  has faced claims he may have been behind the death of the journalist who went missing after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Saudi authorities initially denied any role in the exiled writer’s disappearance. Days later the official position changed to tacit admittance while blaming Khashoggi’s October 2 death on a botched attempt at rendition.
As Turkish authorities published the identities of the suspected perpetrators, four of whom were directly linked to Crown Prince Salman, he ha been faced with a mounting battle to contain the fallout from the killing. Today, Saudi prosecutors said today that the murder was pre-planned and suspects were being interrogated.

Saudi  Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman 4.JPGOn the out? Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman could be replaced as the kingdoms de facto ruler. Reports that the King is pressed to restore the credibility of the monarchy amid the debacle of the Jamal Khashoggi murder

Colonel Lees, author of A Handbook of the Al Sa’ud Ruling Family of Saudi Arabia, told Rudaw: ‘The Saudis will never admit that MbS (Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman) was culpable but this does not mean that he is in the clear. I believe that the king – assuming he is in one of his “clear” periods – will get rid of MbS by replacing him.
‘He cannot do so immediately, or even in the next few months, because that would look like bowing to foreign pressure. He may use the already established device of using the special advisory council within the family to appoint a successor. This would certainly restore the credibility of the monarchy.’
Yesterday US President Donald Trump, in his toughest comments on the case yet, said the Crown Prince bore ultimate responsibility for the operation that led to the journalist’s killing, piling pressure on his ally.
Critics suspect the royal ordered the high-profile operation or at least knew about it.
But at an investment forum in Riyadh yesterday the defiant 33-year-old declared the murder a ‘heinous crime that cannot be justified’ and said Saudi Arabia was cooperating ‘to bring the perpetrators to justice’.
It come days after it emerged that King Salman is now personally intervening in the Khashoggi case amid claims he had been kept in the dark about the crisis by his powerful son’s aides.
The aging monarch, now 82, has delegated vast powers to his son, making him the defacto ruler, as he essentially handles the day-to-day running of the kingdom.

A tough critic of the 33-year-old Saudi Crown Prince,  Mohammed bin Salman, Khashoggi, disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to collect a document in support of his upcoming marriage
MbS is facing a battle to contain the fallout from the disappearance of Khashoggi amid claims the journalist was tortured, murdered and cut up after entering the Saudi consulate.
Such a development would prove hugely embarrassing for the young Crown Prince, who has implemented a series of high-profile social and economic reforms since being handed increasing authority to run Saudi Arabia.
Since he acceded to the throne in January 2015, the king has given MbS, his favourite son, increasing authority to run Saudi Arabia. But the king’s intervention reflects growing disquiet among some members of the royal court about MbS’s fitness to govern,  Reuters reported last week.
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