Uber CEO walks back comment on Saudi writer’s slaying

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Khosrowshahi was asked about the 2018 murder and dismemberment of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi, which the Central Intelligence Agency believes was ordered by top Saudi officials. He added, "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.

Khosrowshahi later said on Twitter: "There's no forgiving or forgetting what happened to Jamal Khashoggi & I was wrong to call it a 'mistake'". "It doesn't mean that they can never be forgiven".

It's worth noting that, during the interview, Axios business editor Dan Primack pointed out that a pre-planned murder is very different from a fatal technical error involving Uber's self-driving cars.

"I said something in the moment that I do not believe", he said in a statement to Axios. "When it comes to Jamal Khashoggi, his murder was reprehensible and should not be forgotten or excused", said the statement posted on the news website on Monday.

Khosrowshahi did not attend either the 2018 or 2019 Saudi investment conferences, and said he "didn't know" if he would have gone to the 2019 event had Uber's board meeting not presented a scheduling conflict.

Saudi Arabia, through its sovereign investment fund, is the fifth largest investor in Uber.

In March 2018, one of Uber's self-driving test vehicles struck and killed a female pedestrian in Tempe, in the U.S. state of Arizona. Shares fell heavily last week as the company reported a heavy loss and the investor lock-up period ended.

Khashoggi was killed and dismembered by individuals identified as Saudi intelligence officials and a forensic doctor past year at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

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An Uber (UBER) self-driving vehicle struck and killed a pedestrian in Arizona a year ago, and an NTSB report last week found the vehicle's system had not been able to recognize a pedestrian who was not in a crosswalk, leading some to question why it was approved for public roads in the first place.

Global Opinions editor at The Washington Post Karen Attiah, who is now on leave, said: 'Uber's CEO is showing us what moral bankruptcy looks like in real time.

Saudi Arabia has denied official involvement in Khashoggi's death, blaming "rogue operatives".

Allen pointed out the Central Intelligence Agency conclusion that Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered the hit on Khashoggi, who was murdered and dismembered by Saudi agents in the country's Istanbul consulate.

"Uber's CEO is showing us what moral bankruptcy looks like in real time".

In a report in June, Agnes Callamard, the United Nations special rapporteur on extrajudicial killings, said the journalist was the victim of "deliberate, premeditated execution" for which Saudi Arabia bore responsibility.

Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi on stage at Tech Crunch Disrupt 2018 in San Francisco.

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