Saudi Arabia says journalist Khashoggi died after fight in consulate

Cheryl Sanders
October 20, 2018

According to a list confirmed by Turkish officials, 15 Saudis flew to Istanbul on the morning of 2 October, participated in an operation that left Khashoggi dead and then quickly departed the country, reported news agency Reuters. His fiancée was waiting outside for several hours.

King Salman, his father, appointed him to lead a committee that will restructure the kingdom's intelligence services after Mr Khashoggi's slaying.

How did they explain it?

But members of Congress voiced scepticism about the Saudi public prosecutor's explanation that a fight broke out between Khashoggi and people who met him when he went to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 and that the altercation led to his death. Eighteen people have been arrested as the government conducts an investigation into Khashoggi's death.

CNN reports Saudi set up a commission to investigate and the crown prince will head it.

Some U.S. lawmakers however were unpersuaded by Riyadh's account.

The White House acknowledged the Saudis' announcement, stating that it would "continue to closely follow the global investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent, and in accordance with all due process".

Republican US Senator Lindsey Graham, who has been critical of Saudi Arabai following Mr Khashoggi's disappearance said he was skeptical of the new explanation.

He says if Trump's Republican administration won't hold Saudi Arabia accountable for Khashoggi's death, Congress will.

Turkish officials previously said they believe Khashoggi was dismembered.

Saudi Arabia said it "expresses deep regret" over his death and King Salman put his son, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, in charge of re-vamping the country's intelligence agency.

The prosecutor said Khashoggi died after "discussions" at the consulate "developed into an argument".

Khashoggi's body has not yet been found by Turkish authorities. In this instance, however, we think the market is right to discount the bullish risk of what reportedly happened to Khashoggi for two reasons; 1- neither the USA nor Saudi Arabia want to see higher oil prices and...

The case has also created a rift between the President Donald Trump's administration and some members of the U.S. Congress, including Republican Senator Lindsey Graham of SC who has explicitly accused Prince Mohammed of ordering Khashoggi killed.

The statement contradicts reports by pro-government media in Turkey, which have published surveillance video and other material suggesting Mr Khashoggi was killed by an assassination squad with ties to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

This is the first time the kingdom has admitted Khashoggi has died after repeatedly denying any knowledge of his fate.

But he said he did not want to hurt American companies and jobs by cutting billions of dollars in arms sales to the kingdom. Earlier on Friday, US President Donald Trump had warned the United States, which is Saudi Arabia's biggest backer, could impose sanctions if it was proved the journalist was killed.

The White House so far has chosen not to accept either Turkey's or Saudi Arabia's claims.

"The Saudi "explanation" for murdering journalist and Virginia resident Jamal Khashoggi in a consulate-a fistfight gone wrong-is insulting", tweeted Sen.

Deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Assiri was sacked and his Twitter account posted a message in Arabic Friday night.

Other reports by iNewsToday