"The greatest embarrassment": Inside the kingdom, Saudis rattled by handling of Jamal Khashoggi case

Even government officials in Riyadh have grown increasingly alarmed by the escalating crackdown and apparent power grabs by the crown prince. They said the disappearance of Mr Khashoggi, which has dominated world headlines, has only further damaged Saudi’s reputation at a time when it is already under fire for the ruinous war in Yemen and arrests of dissidents and royal family members.

“Everyone is scared now. We cannot talk. It is more hush than ever before,” said one senior official in the Saudi capital who asked not to be named for fear over his safety. “Emotions here are also anger and sadnesses for the country’s losses over this.”

He added that the general feeling was that the crown prince had gone “one step too far” and that he was isolating himself from the rest of the royal family.