Friday, December 2, 2022

Saudi Arabia Finally Admits Khashoggi Killed in Istanbul Consulate

Saudi Arabia has sacked a top general and arrested several people after confessing that dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

In a Friday announcement, Saudi Arabia said that the preliminary results of its investigation indicate Khashoggi had been killed in a “fight with people who met him in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.”

According to Saudi state TV, the Kingdom has relieved Ahmad al-Assiri, a top general and close aide to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, from his duties in the General Intelligence.

Saudi King Salman has also ordered the formation of a ministerial committee with the Saudi crown prince as head to restructure the General Intelligence Agency.

Reuters quoted a person familiar with the Saudi investigation of Khashoggi’s death as saying that no orders had been issued to kill or kidnap him, but there is standing order from the General Intelligence Presidency to bring critics back to the kingdom.

The source said orders were “aggressively interpreted” and subsequent instructions were “more and more unspecific” resulting in death and attempt to “cover it”.

It also noted that the Saudi consulate driver was among those who handed over the body of the dissident journalist to a “local cooperator”; however, it is not clear what has happened to the body.

The person familiar with the investigation also claimed bin Salman “had no knowledge of this specific operation”.

‘Faithful servant’

In addition to al-Assiri, Saudi Arabia also dismissed four other senior officials, including Saud al-Qahtani, a top adviser to the royal court.

Shortly after news of his arrest, users on Twitter found and reposted a 2017 tweet by al-Qahtani, in which he said, “You think I’m acting on my own? I’m just an employee and a faithful servant to my King and his royal highness the crown prince.”

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