The two had reportedly exchanged numbers a month earlier during the princes  highly-publicized visit to the U.S in March 2018.  Within hours of the MP4’s arrival, there was a “massive and unprecedented exfiltration of data” from Mr Bezos’s phone. This led to the leaking of private and confidential information about Mr Bezos personal life.

The statement also outlines how the Post published a series of columns by Khashoggi in the months leading up to the hack. Khashoggi was murdered and dismembered on Oct. 2, 2018, after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. In December, Saudi Arabia sentenced five people to death for “committing and directly participating” in the killing.

Private information was then leaked to the National Enquirer an American tabloid in 2019. In February 2019 Mr Bezos accused it of “extortion and blackmail” after it published text messages between him and his girlfriend, former Fox television presenter Lauren Sánchez. He and his wife of 25 years MacKenzie Bezos had announced their divorce a month earlier.

The statement also stated that the Saudi Royal Guard acquired the spyware technology from the Israel-based NSO Group, Herzliya ,in November 2017,although the company strongly denies any involvement in the hack.

Bruce Riedel, a former CIA officer who has written extensively on Saudi Arabia, said the alleged hack suggested the crown prince appeared to be planning ahead. “I don’t know if they already knew they were going to kill Jamal Khashoggi, but apparently they knew they wanted leverage over the Post,”

The revelations have raised questions on whether U.S. intelligence agencies,which often monitor he phones of foreign leaders knew about alleged the hack.

Mr Bezos is yet to comment on the story.