United Nations official: Khashoggi was victim of an extrajudicial execution

Muriel Colon
October 26, 2018

Among various versions of what happened to Khashoggi given by Riyadh, Saudi officials had said the columnist was either killed in a fight inside the consulate or died in a chokehold when he resisted being drugged and abducted.

Amid the ongoing furor over Khashoggi's death, Saudi King Salman has sacked the deputy head of the Saudi intelligence agency - and a top aide - while also ordering the arrest of 18 suspects in the case.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has said Saudi officials made "reconnaissance" trips to the forest as well as the city of Yalova a day before Khashoggi was killed.

From the time he vanished into the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul, Riyadh's allied newspapers and TV stations across the region echoed the Saudi denial of any knowledge of his fate or weaved alternative scenarios of an alleged plot by rivals Qatar and Turkey to destabilize the kingdom.

However, Trump also said that he wanted to believe that rogue operatives were behind the Khashoggi killing.

However, even US President Donald Trump has cast doubt on MBS's claim he had nothing to do with Khashoggi's murder.

Turkish officials and some US lawmakers allege the crown prince ordered the operation in which Jamal Khashoggi killed.


Trump described the plan to kill Khashoggi in the Saudi diplomatic mission in Istanbul, as well as the contrasting cover-up stories after it, as a "bad deal" and "the worst cover-up ever".

Turkish officials especially are pushing the Saudi government to identify who ordered the killing.

In another sign that the kingdom is seeking to contain the widespread fallout, Salah Khashoggi, the eldest son of Jamal Khashoggi, has left Saudi Arabia, two people close to the family said Thursday.

"We have shared with those who sought additional information some of the information and findings that the prosecutor has allowed us to share", Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told reporters, without giving details. The resolution came several days after Germany became the first Western government to suspend arms sales to Saudi Arabia, the world's largest arms importer.

"What we know is sufficient to suggest very strongly that Mr Khashoggi was the victim of an extrajudicial execution", Agnes Callamard told Al Jazeera.

The people outside the consulate, some of whom had travelled from other countries for the vigil, lit candles in front of posters of Khashoggi.

Supporters, friends and relatives of journalist Jamal Khashoggi on Thursday held a candlelight vigil outside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to demand justice for his "barbaric" murder. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo participated in the meeting, the State Department said.

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