A declassified US intelligence report released on Friday assessed Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud approved an operation to "capture or kill" Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

"We assess that Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Muhammad bin Salman approved an operation in Istanbul, Turkey to capture or kill Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi," read the report released by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI).

Saudi Arabia denied the crown prince was involved in the death of Khashoggi, the Xinhua news agency reported.

saudi prince
Saudi crown prince Mohammad bin SalmanReuters

The assassination of Khashoggi

Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, and a number of top Saudi officials were arrested in connection with the case.

Saudi Arabia's Public Prosecution last September issued the final verdicts against eight convicts in Khashoggi's killing, five were sentenced to 20 years in jail, and three sentenced to seven to ten years in jail.

Vigil for Khashoggi at Saudi Consulate in Istanbul
Jamal Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and critic of the Saudi regime, went missing after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2.Chris McGrath/Getty Images

Biden spoke to King Salman

US President Joe Biden spoke to King Salman of Saudi Arabia over the phone hours ahead of a new report was set to be made public in the sensational killing of acclaimed journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018.

Recently filed court documents have mentioned that the two private jets used by the alleged Saudi Arabian assassination squad that killed and dismembered journalist Jamal Khashoggi were owned by a firm that was seized by the Kingdom's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, media reports said.

The documents are labelled "Top Secret" and signed by a Saudi Minister who relayed the orders of the Crown Prince, the young de facto ruler of Saudi Arabia.

(With inputs from IANS)