BREAKING: Saudi Arabia has confirmed Jamal Khashoggi was killed in its Istanbul Consulate. But there’s one key person who is yet to comment.
A SAUDI public prosecutor has revealed on state television that a primary investigation into high-profile journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance has confirmed he is dead.
“The discussions between Jamal Khashoggi and those he met at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul … devolved into a fistfight, leading to his death,”the public prosecutor said.
Eighteen nationals have reportedly been arrested in connection with the suspected murder and two of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s top aides — intelligence official Ahmad al-Assiri and royal court media advisor Saud al-Qahtani — have been sacked.
Khashoggi’s disappearance has sparked global outrage as the mystery surrounding it deepens.
But there’s one person believed to be at the centre of the scandal who is yet to make any public mention of it: Crown Prince bin Salman.
Turkish reports say Khashoggi, who had written columns critical of the Saudi government for The Washington Post over the past year while he lived in self-imposed exile in the United States, was killed and dismembered inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.
Khashoggi has not been seen since he entered the consulate on October 2. It’s believed members of an assassination squad with ties to Saudi’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman are responsible for his death. The Saudis have dismissed those reports as baseless but have yet to explain what happened to the writer.
In Istanbul, a leaked surveillance photo showed a man who has been a member of the Crown Prince’s entourage during trips abroad walking into the Saudi Consulate just before Khashoggi vanished there — timing that drew the kingdom’s heir-apparent closer to the columnist’s apparent demise.
Turkish officials say Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb flew into Istanbul on a private jet along with an “autopsy expert” on October 2 and left that night.
A Turkish newspaper has also reported that the contents of Khashoggi’s Apple Watch recorded his final brutal moments.
According to The Sabah newspaper, authorities recovered the audio from the journalist’s iPhone and his iCloud account, which were synched to his watch.
It’s believed he gave his phone to his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz before entering the consulate to arrange paperwork for his marriage.
The tape, if it’s authentic, supposedly reveals Khashoggi had his fingers cut off. According to local media, his panicked dying screams could be heard before he was “injected with an unknown drug” and went off the grid.