- Finally, Saudi Admits Jamal Khashoggi Was Murdered in Istanbul
Saudi Arabia has finally given in to pressure following global outcry on the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi shortly after he visited Saudi’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
Saudi Arabia admitted The Washington Post journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, was killed inside the consulate, saying he died after a fight broke out inside the consulate, the SPA press agency said on Saturday.
According to the Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb, the journalist died after discussions at the embassy devolved into an altercation.
“Discussions that took place between him and the persons who met him … at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul led to a brawl and a fist fight with the citizen, Jamal Khashoggi, which led to his death, may his soul rest in peace,” the attorney general said in a statement.
“The investigations are still under way and 18 Saudi nationals have been arrested.”
However, nations and top executives called the Saudi account of what happened on October 2, “insulting”.
Karen Greenberg, director of the Center on National Security, said: “They knew they had to come up with a story, and this is what they think is the best story for their purposes. It’s at the very least insufficient, but it’s also insulting. It’s ‘here’s our story and we’re sticking to it’.”
Greenberg further stated that Saudi King Salman could have removed his son from power for the killing.
“This is a brutal, horrifying, pointed assassination of a journalist who had strong ties to the West and was a resident of the United States. Each one of those is a line that you wouldn’t have expected the king to allow to be crossed,” Greenberg told Al Jazeera.
Political analysts believe Saudi was forced to come forward with a story after denying for two weeks. A Turkish pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak on Wednesday specifically described an audio recording of the journalist’s murder, saying the 15-member squad cut off Khashoggi’s fingers before decapitating him immediately after he entered the consulate.
Aaron David Miller, Middle East analyst at the Wilson Center in Washington, told Al Jazeera: “They are creating this cover story that his death occurred during a fist fight. It’s another step in a big kabuki theatre.”