Saudi Arabia journalist: Nation claims vanished journalist 'died following brawl'

Lamar Ellis
October 20, 2018

The Saudi prosecutor said on Friday that an investigation showed that Khashoggi's death was a result of a physical altercation at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul two weeks ago.

Mr Schiff said that if Mr Khashoggi was fighting inside the consulate, he was "fighting for his life with people sent to capture or kill him".

The prominent journalist had written columns critical of the Saudi government while living in self-imposed exile in the US.

However, the sources said Ankara is extremely concerned that the suspects will be arrested and executed by Saudi authorities before Turkish investigators can have the opportunity to question them.

The incident had threatened to create a diplomatic crisis with the US, which sees its alliance with Riyadh as the cornerstone of its Middle East policy, and Turkey, which has tenuous ties with Saudi Arabia.

Erdogan and Salman "emphasised the importance of continuing to work together with complete cooperation", said a Turkish presidential source, who asked not to be named.

"The secretary-general is deeply troubled by the confirmation of the death of Jamal Khashoggi". He was trying to obtain documents for a marriage license at the consulate. Maybe they all fell off in the fist fight. Ever since he disappeared on October 2 while visiting the mission, Saudi officials have repeatedly said that he left the consulate alive and that they had no information about his whereabouts or fate.

The other official let go, Saud al-Qahtani, managed the royal family's media relations. He's also consolidated control over Saudi Arabia's security and intelligence agencies.

The Saudi daily Al-Hayat once described the major general, who trained at the renowned French military school Saint-Cyr, as the "best known Saudi pilot in the world".

"They have been a great ally in the Middle East".

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It's not clear whether Assiri posted it himself or whether someone else did so on his behalf.

The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because he is not authorized to speak on behalf of the administration or the Saudi government.

"I think it's a very important first step".

US President Donald Trump called the death of Khashoggi "unacceptable", but said he thought Saudi Arabia's explanation of what happened was credible.

Trump sent Secretary of State Mike Pompeo earlier in the week to Riyadh, where the top U.S. diplomat praised the Saudis for conducting a probe and called for the two nations to maintain a close alliance for the sake of business deals and their shared opposition to Iran.

"The United States acknowledges the announcement from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia that its investigation into the fate of Jamal Khashoggi is progressing and that it has taken action against the suspects it has identified thus far", Sanders said.

Saudi Arabia's highest religious body, the Council of Senior Scholars, on Saturday said the king's decisions on the death of Jamal Khashoggi "achieve justice and equality in accordance with Islamic law", according to a statement on state news agency SPA. "He extends his condolences to Mr Khashoggi's family and friends", the statement read.

Saudi King Salman has also reportedly ordered the formation of a ministerial committee, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed, which will have one month to release a report on the facts of the case, according to state TV.

The ongoing saga has put the kingdom and its young crown prince under pressure to offer a feasible explanation for the disappearance and death of Khashoggi.

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