Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said Saudi Arabia’s alleged assassination of columnist Jamal Khashoggi was a mistake akin to when one of his company’s self-driving cars killed a woman.
“It’s a serious mistake. We’ve made mistakes too, right, with self-driving,” Khosrowshahi said in an interview that aired Sunday on “Axios on HBO.” “So I think that people make mistakes. It doesn’t mean that they can never be forgiven”
Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018 after attempting to obtain paperwork for his marriage to fiancee Hatice Cengiz. He never walked out. Media reports also suggested that his suspected Saudi killers used a bonesaw to dismember him.
Khosrowshahi attempted to clarify his comments following the interview. “I said something in the moment that I do not believe. When it comes to Jamal Khashoggi, his murder was reprehensible and should not be forgotten or excused,” he said in a press statement to Axios.
Saudi Arabia is Uber’s fifth-largest shareholder. (RELATED: Jamal Khashoggi Is Dead, Saudi State Media Is Reporting)
Khosrowshahi appeared to compare what he called Saudi Arabia’s “mistake” to a situation in 2018 when a self-driving Uber car hit and killed a woman. Federal investigators determined the vehicle was unable to recognize that pedestrians jaywalk.
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