The Saudi crown prince, Mohammed bin Salman, suggested in 2014 to poison King Abdullah bin Abdulaziz, who died in 2015, said the former Saudi minister of state and head of intelligence Saad Al Jabri.
In an interview broadcast Sunday night on the U.S. network CBS, Al Jabri said that bin Salman spoke in 2014 with his cousin, Prince Mohammed bin Nayef, then-Interior Minister, about this possibility.
“He told him, ‘I want to assassinate King Abdullah, I have obtained a poisonous ring in Russia. I just need a handshake to do it,'” the former intelligence chief said of bin Salman’s words to bin Nayef.
According to the interviewee, the conversation was private although it is videotaped and he claimed to know where the two copies of the recording are located.
King Abdullah died in 2015 at the age of 90 and was succeeded by his brother Salman bin Abdulaziz, father of Mohammed bin Salman, who initially named bin Nayef crown prince.
In 2017 the monarch removed bin Nayef as heir and appointed bin Salman. Bin Nayef also lost his position as interior minister.
Al-Jabri, who had been a close associate of bin Nayef, fled to Canada when the previous crown prince was ousted.
In August last year, he filed a lawsuit in the United States against bin Salman, whom he accused of sending a “hit squad” to Canada to assassinate him.
In his complaint Al Jabri alleges that the crown prince ordered the deployment of Saudi agents to North America to find out his whereabouts, and when he was finally found in Canada, he sent a squad of 50 people to kill him, two weeks after the October 2018 murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.