The days of Mohammed bin Salman (33) still crown prince of Saudi Arabia seem counted now that he is linked to the death of the journalist Jamal Khashoggi. That is what Brian Lees, former defence attaché of the United Kingdom in Saudi Arabia and writer of the book A Handbook of the Al Sa’ud Ruling Family of Saudi Arabia says.
According to Lees, it is likely that the Saudi royal family will eventually put Mohammed bin Salman aside and appoint a new crown prince. “The Saudis will never admit that he is guilty, but that does not mean that he is safe”, says Lees in an interview with Rudaw, a Kurdish TV channel. “I believe the king will replace him.”
According to Lees, this will not happen immediately, nor will it happen in the coming months. “That would look as if the Saudi’s are giving in to foreign pressure.” However, a new crown prince will help restore the Saudi monarchy, he thinks. In the past, crown princes in Saudi Arabia often had to surrender their position. Mohammed bin Salman also came into his current position when his predecessor Mohammed bin Nayef was ‘dethroned’ in 2015.