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Jamal Khashoggi case: ‘Khashoggi died in fight at Istanbul consulate’

Jamal Khashoggi case: ‘Khashoggi died in fight at Istanbul consulate’

Sentinel Digital DeskBy : Sentinel Digital Desk

  |  21 Oct 2018 7:14 AM GMT

Riyadh: Saudi Arabia has confirmed that missing journalist and Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi died in a fistfight involving more than a dozen Saudi officials at the country’s consulate in Istanbul, the media reported on Saturday. A statement carried on Saudi state TV on Friday night 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, reports CNN.

“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,” it said. The statement 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 to his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz.

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, it added. Khashoggi disappeared after going to the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul at about 1.15 p.m. on October 2 to obtain the paperwork. She raised the alarm just before 5 p.m, while she was still waiting outside.

Also Read: Audio, Video Recordings Show Khashoggi Murdered

According to Saudi state media, citing official sources, 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. The Saudis have set up a commission, led by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, that will restructure the Saudi general intelligence directorate and will have one month to release a report, state TV said. Meanwhile, US President Donald Trump said that he found the Saudi claim credible, CNN said.

Trump said he would work with Congress to develop a response to Khashoggi’s death, but said that he didn’t want sanctions to affect US arms sales to the Kingdom. Trump said he would withhold a fuller comment until he speaks with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Saudi Arabia has been under intense pressure since Khashoggi’s disappearance. Saudi Arabia said on Saturday that 18 people have been arrested over the murder of the missing Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi, reported Xinhua news agency. (IANS)

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