The important thing about mistakes is to “learn from them and not repeat them”, Mohammed bin Salman told an interviewer this week. The statement was part of the 34-year-old Saudi crown prince’s campaign to burnish his sullied image and reassure the world that he had reached political maturity.

Timed to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the savage murder of Jamal Khashoggi, the prominent Saudi columnist, the prince’s high-profile appearance on US television was undoubtedly welcomed by governments and businesses still uneasy about re-engaging with Saudi Arabia. They, and those who have already rehabilitated MbS, as the crown prince is known, would do well to examine whether any lessons have indeed been learnt. They will find ample reason for doubt...

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