Sept. 26 (UPI) -- Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman accepted responsibility for the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi "because it happened under my watch" but said he wasn't involved in it, according to a PBS documentary that will air Oct. 1.
The PBS interview marks the first time bin Salman has spoken publicly about the brutal ambush, suffocation, dismemberment and cover-up of Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.
The killing of a Washington Post columnist who was often critical of the Saudi royal family shocked the world. The CIA and other Western governments said bin Salman ordered the killing or, at the least, it couldn't have happened without him knowing about it.
However, bin Salman has repeatedly shrugged off blame. In the interview with PBS, bin Salman acknowledges it for the first time.
"It happened under my watch. I get all the responsibility, because it happened under my watch," bin Salman told PBS.
Asked how it could happen without him knowing about it, bin Salman said, "We have 20 million people. We have 3 million government employees," bin Salman said.
He was also asked whether those involved in the attack could have taken one of his private jets to Turkey to ambush Khashoggi. He said, "I have officials, ministers to follow things, and they're responsible. They have the authority to do that."
Earlier this month, transcripts of the audio recordings that capture the final moments of Khashoggi's life and the gruesome cutting up of the body after he died were released. The operatives lured him to the consulate because he needed papers for his upcoming wedding. They put a towel over his mouth to drug him and then proceeded to cut his body to pieces so they could smuggle the body parts out of the consulate. The sound of an autopsy saw can be heard.