Uber CEO says he was wrong to call Khashoggi killing a 'mistake'
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Uber's chief executive
said on Monday the murder by Saudi Arabia, a major investor in
his company, of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last year could not
be excused and that he was wrong to have described the killing
as a "serious mistake".
Dara Khosrowshahi was backtracking from comments he made in
an interview with "Axios on HBO" aired earlier in which he
compared the Washington Post columnist's murder by Saudi agents
inside the kingdom's Istanbul consulate to a fatality caused by
one of his company's self-driving cars.
"It's a serious mistake. We've made mistakes too, with
self-driving, and we stopped driving and we're recovering from
that mistake," Khosrowshahi said in the interview. "So I think
that people make mistakes. It doesn’t mean they can never be
forgiven. I think they’ve taken it seriously..."
Khosrowshahi later said on Twitter: "There's no forgiving or
forgetting what happened to Jamal Khashoggi & I was wrong to
call it a 'mistake.'"
"I said something in the moment I don't believe. Our
investors have long known my views here & I'm sorry I wasn’t as
clear on Axios."
Khashoggi's killing sparked a global uproar, tarnishing the
image of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
The CIA and some Western governments have said they believe
the crown prince ordered Khashoggi's killing. Prince Mohammed
has denied that but said he bore ultimate responsibility as the
country's de facto leader.
Asked about the CIA's assessment of the crown prince's
involvement, Khosrowshahi said: "I didn't read that part of the
CIA report ... but I think from a Saudi perspective, they're
just like any other shareholder."
Saudi sovereign wealth fund PIF acquired a 5% stake in Uber
in 2016 worth $3.5 billion. Its chairman sits on the board.