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One year since murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi

Riyadh finally admits Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate

One year since murder of Saudi journalist Khashoggi
Photo: AFP

Here is a summary of events in the year since journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate, an affair that shook the world.

– Never leaves consulate –

The Washington Post contributor, who took refuge in the United States in 2017, is recorded on camera entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, 2018.

His fiancee waits outside but he never emerges. 

The following day, the Post reports him missing.

In an interview published on October 5, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says Khashoggi is not inside the consulate.

A source close to the Turkish government says the next day that police believe he was murdered inside the premises “by a team especially sent to Istanbul and who left the same day”.

Riyadh calls the claim “baseless”.

– ‘Likely dismembered’ –

On October 7, The Washington Post cites a US official as saying Khashoggi’s body “was likely dismembered, removed in boxes and flown out of the country”.

The New York Times says a suspect in the disappearance was identified by Turkey as being from Prince Mohammed’s inner circle. Three other suspects are linked to his security team.

– Riyadh admits murder –

On October 20, Riyadh finally admits Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, claiming this was after a “brawl”.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir tells Fox News on October 21 there had been a “tremendous mistake” and those responsible acted “outside the scope of their authority”.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on October 23 says Khashoggi’s “savage” murder was carried out by a 15-person team from Riyadh.

– ‘Painful’ –

On October 24, the crown prince makes his first public comments on the affair, saying it is “very painful for all Saudis, it’s a repulsive incident”.

On October 31, Turkey’s chief prosecutor says Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the consulate, his body dismembered and destroyed.

On November 2, Erdogan says the order for the murder came from “the highest levels” of the Saudi government.

On November 15, Washington announces sanctions against 17 Saudis allegedly involved. Germany, France and Canada follow suit.

– Prince accused –

The Washington Post on November 16 quotes anonymous sources as saying the CIA had concluded the crown prince was involved in the murder plot.

But Trump says the CIA has “nothing definitive”.

On December 4, Republican senators say after a CIA briefing that they firmly believe the crown prince was complicit.

On December 13, the Senate adopts a resolution holding him responsible.

– Trial begins –

On January 3, the trial of 11 accused opens with Saudi Arabia’s attorney general seeking the death penalty for five of them.

On February 8, the Saudi foreign minister insists Prince Mohammed was not involved and says blaming him would be crossing a “red line”.

– ‘Credible evidence’ –

On June 19, independent UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard says there is “credible evidence” linking the crown prince to the killing. 

She calls for an international criminal investigation.

Callamard’s inquiry also finds that the closed-door trial of the 11 suspects did not meet global standards and should be stopped.

Trump says on June 29 that nobody had “pointed a finger” at Prince Mohammed over the murder. 

On September 26, US television PBS quotes the prince as insisting, in comments to a reporter two months after the murder, that it was executed without his knowledge but, “I get all the responsibility, because it happened under my watch.”

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