Sat | Jan 19, 2019

Saudis confirm journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside consulate

Published:Friday | October 19, 2018 | 6:31 PM
Turkey Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu speaks to the media after a meeting with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo at the Esenbago Airport in Ankara, Turkey on Wednesday. AP

DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) — Saudi Arabia acknowledged early Saturday that Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul in a fight, and said 18 Saudis were being held as suspects.

The overnight announcements in Saudi state media came more than two weeks after Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul for paperwork required to marry his Turkish fiancée, and never came out. Saudi Arabia had rejected as baseless reports that Khashoggi was killed and dismembered inside the consulate, but had been facing growing pressure to explain what happened to him.

The overnight announcement in Saudi State media also said a royal court advisor close to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman was fired along with three leaders in the kingdom’s intelligence services and other officials. Saudi King Salman also had a plan to restructure the kingdom’s intelligence services.

The statement contradicts reports by pro-government media in Turkey, which have published surveillance video and other material suggesting Khashoggi was killed by an assassination squad with ties to Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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