Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS), the Saudi crown prince was responsible for the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi, according to a U.S. declassified intelligence report. Furthermore, the alleged prince of Saudi Arabia might face severe economic consequences on his Kingdom’s sovereign wealth fund. In 2018, Saudi Arabia brutally murdered Khashoggi in the Saudi Embassy in Turkey.
Pres. Biden administration released a declassified intelligence report on Friday. The report states that Mohammed Bin Salman of Saudi Arabia knew about the assassination of Khashoggi. According to the same report, MBS has total control over the securities and intelligence in the Kingdom. As a result, MBS is alledgedly accountable for the murder
The Saudi sovereign wealth fund, or the Public Investment Fund chaired by Bin Salman might face severe consequences. It was involved in the purchase of the aircraft that Khashoggi’s killers used to travel to the Saudi embassy in Turkey. Where Khashoggi was brutally murdered.
Joel Rubin, a former deputy assistant secretary of State said, “If this is the case, it could become a target for American human rights sanctions. That could create an economic earthquake.”
“If the United States determines that the Khashoggi killing was a targeted human rights violation. Then the perpetrators and backers of that killing could be sanctioned under the Magnitsky Act,” He added.
The Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act proves that pres. Biden is authorized to deny the arrival of Bin Salman to American soil. Additionally, he could freeze his U.S. assets and can impose economic sanctions on Saudi Arabia. Furthermore, Biden can prohibit any business between Americans and prince MBS. The law applies to anyone who abuses human rights laws.
Bin Salman actions results in “Khashoggi Ban”
Secretary of State Antony Blinken said that the United States banned 76 Saudis. In what Blinken described as the “Khashoggi Ban”.
Saudi Arabia’s sovereign wealth fund has more than $360 billion in assets – the eighth-largest sovereign wealth fund globally based on total assets. The Public Investment Fund of Bin Salman supposedly shields countries from oil price shock. However, MBS seems to use it as a measure of pressure. Additionally, the Investment Fund can protect Saudi Arabia from external financial burden.
“The Saudi fund, which is nearly five decades old, is massive and guarantees long-term financial stability for the Kingdom. But it can also be a target for abuse, mismanagement, and corruption.” Rubin said.
In an interview with CNBC, Joel Rubin added that the personal agendat of Bin Salman is putting the Kingdom at potential risk. He argued that the Public Investment Fund can face sanctions because of MBS “recklessness”.
“The international private sector, which initially shunned Saudi Arabia after the killing of Khashoggi, will also view this as another public relations setback for engagements with Saudi,” Rubin said. “It could also open up the fund to increased scrutiny, lawsuits, and legislative action against the fund’s activities, both from abroad and within Saudi.”
In conclusion, Pres. Biden and his administration promised to punish Saudi Arabia over its human rights violations. He said in 2019 “We were going to in fact make them [Saudi Arabia] pay the price, and make them in fact the pariah that they are.”
The Saudi government rejected the U.S. securities report.