Saudi Arabia Admits That Jamal Khashoggi Was Killed In A Fight

It has been more than two weeks since Jamal Khashoggi, a well-known journalist and critic of the Saudi government, disappeared after walking into the country’s consulate in Istanbul.

The journalist first visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 28 September to obtain a document certifying that he had divorced his ex-wife, so that he could marry his Turkish fiancée. But he was told he would have to return and arranged to come back on the 2 October.

Turkish officials said that he was murdered by a team of Saudi agents inside the building. Later, an unnamed Turkish officials told media outlets that they had audio and visual evidence to prove these claims.

Until Friday, the kingdom had denied knowledge of Khashoggi’s fate and insisted he had left the building alive. But in the early hours of 20 October, the kingdom finally admitted in a statement broadcast on state television that the journalist had died after a fight between Mr Khashoggi and people who met him in the consulate.

Jamal Khashoggi had been close to the Saudi royal family and he also served as an adviser to the government. Last year, he went into self-imposed exile in the US where he has written a monthly column in the Washington Post in which he has criticized the policies of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. In his first column, he  said that he feared being arrested.

“The people being arrested are not even being dissidents, they just have an independent mind” he told the BBC’s Newshour programme just three days before he disappeared.

The investigations are still under way and 18 Saudi nationals have been arrested.