Be­zos flags ‘Saudi an­gle’ in AMI ex­tor­tion bid

Deccan Chronicle - - World -

Wash­ing­ton, Feb. 9: Ama­zon founder Jeff Be­zos' ac­cu­sa­tion of a US gos­sip mag­a­zine try­ing to black­mail him has stunned the Amer­i­cans.

He also men­tioned the close ties be­tween Na­tional En­quirer's pub­lisher, David Pecker, and Pres­i­dent Don­ald Trump.

Be­sides, he flagged the link be­tween the New York tabloid's par­ent com­pany, Amer­i­can Me­dia Inc, and Saudi Ara­bia.

While Saudi's ju­nior for­eign min­is­ter Adel alJubeir de­nied any con­nec­tion, Mr Be­zos, in his post on on­line pub­lish­ing plat­form Medium said the link was not yet fully un­der­stood. The trig­ger was his de­ci­sion to hire a re­puted in­ves­ti­ga­tor to find out how the En­quirer ob­tained texts to his girl­friend and pub­lished – and to de­ter­mine why the pa­per and Pecker, the AMI chair­man, had made him a tar­get.

“Sev­eral days ago, an AMI leader ad­vised us that Mr Pecker is 'apoplec­tic' about our in­ves­ti­ga­tion," he wrote. "For rea­sons still to be bet­ter un­der­stood, the Saudi an­gle seems to hit a par­tic­u­larly sen­si­tive nerve."

On Fri­day, al-Jubeir likened the al­le­ga­tions to "a soap opera."

He pro­vided a link to an As­so­ci­ated Press story about AMI's pub­li­ca­tion of a glossy mag­a­zine cel­e­brat­ing Crown Prince Mo­hammed bin Sal­man's visit to the US last year.

AMI de­nied Saudi links or fund­ing for the Sal­man is­sue, but re­ports said three weeks be­fore his ar­rival, the me­dia com­pany sent a copy to the Saudi em­bassy for in­ter­nal cir­cu­la­tion.

Jeff Be­zos

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