Jamal Khashoggi died in fight at Istanbul consulate, Saudi state TV claims
Saudi Arabia has confirmed the death of missing journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, claiming he died in a fist fight.
State TV reported that the fight involved more than a dozen Saudi officials at the country’s consulate in Istanbul.
After 18 days in which it insisted it had no involvement in the journalist’s disappearance, Riyadh conceded that Khashoggi died as a result of the altercation after he had come to the consulate to obtain paperwork needed for his upcoming wedding.
An announcement carried on Saudi state TV said discussions between Khashoggi and officials at the consulate quickly turned violent, and ended in his death.
Five high-ranking officials have been removed from their posts, including the deputy head of the Saudi intelligence service, and 18 Saudis have been detained, state TV said.
The statement was the first official confirmation of Khashoggi’s death in Turkey 18 days ago, and the first acknowledgment by Saudi Arabia of its role in it.
“The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia expresses deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place in this case and affirms the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the attention of the public and to hold accountable all those involved,” the statement said.
Khashoggi disappeared after going to the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul at about 1:15 p.m. on October 2 to obtain paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.
She raised the alarm just before 5 p.m, while she was still waiting outside.
According to Saudi state media, the public prosecutor’s office investigated a number of suspects based on the information they received from Turkish authorities.
Preliminary investigations showed a suspect went to Istanbul to meet with Khashoggi with the possible intention of bringing the journalist to the Kingdom.
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