Saudi crown prince told agent he could kill the King, says CNN

Image copyright Reuters Image caption Prince Mohammed Bin Salman was at the time a senior military officer. The crown prince’s reputation has been repeatedly damaged by a number of high-profile events

A Saudi crown prince once boasted to an ex-intelligence officer that he could kill the King and still lead the country, according to documents released under a Freedom of Information request by CNN.

The documents do not clarify which year Prince Mohammed was in this position, and the Crown Prince’s office did not respond to CNN’s request for comment.

The document, published by the news network, shows Prince Mohammed also told the officer he considered himself a “superman” who could “physically kill someone”.

“He said he would be able to jump into a lake or a ditch and walk out of it, or he could throw someone off a building,” said CNN.

The unnamed former intelligence officer who received the message became alarmed.

He reportedly contacted the head of the Saudi Arabian intelligence agency at the time, who told him to share the message with other analysts.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption The Crown Prince received an extensive degree of power over the past few years

“He was really overconfident and convinced himself that he could do a lot of things very simply,” said CNN.

The Crown Prince – who was then known by his given name, MBS – previously was a top military commander. He now leads a crackdown on his family’s opponents that has seen dozens of senior princes, ministers and businessmen detained at Riyadh’s Ritz-Carlton hotel.

His ability to secure such a crackdown is regarded as a huge achievement.

But over the past few years, his reputation has been repeatedly damaged by a number of high-profile events.

Most notably, his order to execute the dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which also cast doubt on the veracity of Saudi claims that the journalist had been murdered in a botched mission to retrieve him from Istanbul.

In another incident, a pro-government news site was hacked and dozens of pictures were posted purporting to show him with British royals Prince Charles and Princess Diana.

In recent weeks, Prince Mohammed has faced accusations that he arranged the torture and killing of prominent critic Jamal Khashoggi.

His efforts to arrest top royals has seen several top princes and officials imprisoned – including former National Guard Chief Prince Turki bin Abdullah.

The prosecutor’s office, meanwhile, said late on Wednesday it had detained “all individuals who are responsible for a series of crimes which were committed in the past few days”.

Image copyright Reuters Image caption A poster bearing Prince Mohammed’s image was posted with a photo of a dead-eyed man in prison

Another investigation is reportedly looking into a raid on a Saudi-owned luxury housing development in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that has been linked to a property purchase by Crown Prince Mohammed.

The home of Opec boss Mohammed Bin Salman was among 2,800 properties – a vast majority of them villas – reportedly confiscated from suspected businessmen in the UAE.

The raid was reportedly carried out by a special economic enforcement committee that the crown prince established earlier this year, along with his brother, Defence Minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

They are believed to have used royal funds to fund the unit, called Makkah Economic Affairs Company.

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