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Saudi Murder Mystery

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The late journalist Jamal Khashoggi

The late journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Heightline.com

Heightline.com

The late journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Jamal Khashoggi, a well-known journalist, and critic of the Saudi Government has been missing since October 2nd after entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul. He was there to obtain paperwork regarding his marriage to his fiancee. After initially denying any knowledge of his fate, Saudi officials have since admitted he was killed in a “rogue operation” that was unbeknownst to the crown prince. Turkish officials accused Saudi agents of torturing and ultimately killing Khashoggi on consulate premises, asserting that they are in possession of audio and video proof.

For decades, Jamal Khashoggi maintained close relations with the Saudi royal family, at one point serving as an advisor to the government. However, after falling out of favor, he fled to the United States where he wrote a monthly column in the Washington Post denouncing the policies of Mohammed bin Salman, the nation’s crown prince. In his writing, he expressed concern about being arrested by the Saudi government due to his open opposition to the country’s leadership.

On October 2nd, Khashoggi visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect documents confirming his divorce from his ex-wife in order to gain legal permission to marry his fiancee. His fiancee stated that he was unbothered by the visit because he believed he was safe from Saudi troublemaking on Turkish soil. Despite his beliefs, he still gave fiancee Hatice Cengiz two mobile phones as a precaution, urging her to contact an advisor to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan if he did not return. She reportedly waited ten hours anticipating his arrival, but he did not reappear.

For two weeks following his disappearance, Saudi Arabia repeatedly denied knowing any information surrounding his whereabouts. Prince Mohammed announced that the journalist had exited the consulate “after a few minutes or one hour.” However, on October 20th, Saudi news agencies reported that the journalist had died at the consulate after a fight had broken out. Officials told Reuters news agency that Khashoggi had died in a chokehold after refusing to return to Saudi Arabia. His body was then rolled in a rug and handed to a local “co-operator” to be disposed of.

Turkish president Erdogan affirms there is compelling evidence to prove that Khashoggi’s murder was
premeditated. He says fifteen Saudi nationals traveled to Istanbul closely preceding the murder on separate flights. Additionally, surveillance cameras on consulate property had been removed prior to Khashoggi’s arrival. The country’s officials claim to have video and audio recordings that prove the journalist was brutally tortured and murdered on consulate premises and then disposed of, although they have not yet released this to the public. The body was allegedly transported to the nearby Belgrad Forest, though police forces have not yet discovered anything substantial.

President Trump, on the topic of dishonesty by the Saudi government, stated, “the cover-up was the worst in
the history of cover-ups.” He additionally reported, “Whoever thought of that idea, I think is in big trouble. And they should be in big trouble.” The president seems wary of imposing sanctions on the nation, however, due to the strategic importance of the US-Saudi alliance.

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Saudi Murder Mystery