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Khashoggi

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Jamal Khashoggi, renowned Saudi journalist and critic who called for reform in Saudi Arabia, was murdered on October 2, 2018. His body is yet to be found. Police state that his body was dissolved with acid by a 15-man Saudi hit squad. 

Saudi Arabia denied any role in his death until 18 days after his disappearance.

This is his story.


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Wadah Khanfar

President, Al Sharq Forum

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Jamal Khashoggi was loved by those who knew him, and respected by those who opposed him.

He had planned to launch Democracy for the Arab World Now (DAWN), which may have made him a marked man.

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What happened in the days before Jamal Khashoggi disappeared? Who would want him dead?

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Jamal Khashoggi never saw himself as a Saudi Arabian dissident, but rather a proud patriot

His self-imposed exile was a source of anguish and sorrow to him. Months before his murder, he confessed he was homesick.

He went into exile to Washington, D.C. after a crackdown by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman that led to arrests of journalists and independent thinkers in Saudi Arabia.

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Khashoggi needed documents from the Saudi Consulate to prove he was single.  
Staff at the Saudi consulate told him to 'return' in a few days.

They planned to marry before his 60th birthday.

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At 03:13, a private jet carrying nine Saudi officials and intelligence officers arrives at Ataturk Airport in Istanbul from Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.

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05:05: Members of the hit squad check into two hotels near the Saudi Consulate, booking rooms for three nights.

Members include a forensic autopsy expert, as well as intelligence and air force officers.

12:13: Several diplomatic vehicles arrive at the consulate, likely carrying the Saudi operatives. This was one hour before Khashoggi arrived. 


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13:14
: Before entering the consulate, Jamal Khashoggi hands his two cellphones to his fiancée Hatice Cengiz, with instructions on who to contact if he doesn't reappear.

Little did he know that a 15-man hit squad was already waiting for him inside the consulate.

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His fiancée, Hatice Cengiz waits outside the consulate for hours

After inquiring about Khashoggi, she is told that he has left the consulate.

Around four hours later she calls the numbers Khashoggi gave her, bringing his case to the attention of police and AK Party Chairman advisor, Yasin Aktay.

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Nearly a month later, the story becomes clearer.

Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate in what the Saudi Press Agency reported as a 'brawl'.

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Hatice's presence complicated plans to use a body-double to make it appear that Khashoggi left the consulate.

The body-double wore Khashoggi's clothes, and left the consulate.

At the time, Saudi Arabia made no mention of a body-double. Turkish police found footage of the man discarding his clothes hours after leaving the consulate.

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16:05: Six vehicles leave the consulate carrying the Saudi operatives, and presumably Khashoggi's remains.

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While the murder took place in the consulate, Khashoggi's remains would be moved to the Saudi Consul General's residence, only a 2 minute drive away.

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15:07: Vehicles arrive at the Saudi Consul General's residence.

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Although Saudi Arabia initially denies Turkish investigators access to the consulate and consul general's residence, traces of hydrofluoric acid and other chemicals are eventually found on both sites.

Saudi authorities sent a chemist and toxicologist to Istanbul nine days after the murder to dispose of his body and hide the evidence, Turkish newspaper Daily Sabah reports.

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The 15-man hit squad retrieved their belongings from their hotels and departed on the same-day. 

Two flights left Istanbul that night. The flights were bound for Cairo and Dubai, followed by Riyadh.

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Following the grisly events of Khashoggi's murder, Saudi Arabia presented misleading, and often contradictory statements about his murder.

Most of the statements did their best to distance Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman from the crime.


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Saudi Arabia arrests one senior intelligence official, and one royal court advisor said to be implicated in the murder. It also fires five others. 

King Salman calls for a reform of the intelligence.






Only a year earlier, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman replaced the Minister of Interior, head of Saudi Arabian intelligence, and the Minister of Defence, making both ministries report to him.

The arrested officials and the five fired all reported directly to the young crown prince.

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October 3
Khashoggi’s disappearance goes public. Turkey suggests he is still at the consulate

The Public Prosecutor’s Office in Istanbul starts investigating the case

Turkish Presidential Aide Ibrahim Kalin says Khashoggi is still inside the consulate

October 4
The Turkish Foreign Ministry summons the Saudi Arabian ambassador for an explanation

The Saudi Consulate says Khashoggi disappeared after he left the building

October 5
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman tells Bloomberg that Khashoggi left the consulate and the Kingdom is ready to welcome the Turkish government to search the mission

October 6
Security officials say 15 Saudi citizens, who came to Istanbul on two planes, were in the consulate building with Khashoggi. They returned to the Kingdom

Anonymous sources state that Turkish police believe Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate in a pre-planned murder

The Saudi Consul General tells reporters that CCTV cameras did not record any footage the day of Khashoggi disappearance 

October 7
Yasin Aktay, AK Party Chairman Advisor tells Reuters that Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate, with a 15-man hit squad “certainly involved”

The Saudi Consulate called the claims “baseless allegations."

October 8
Trump tells reporters at the White House that he’s concerned and hopes that the case “will sort itself out”

October 9
'Turkish diplomatic sources say Saudi Arabia invited Turkish experts and authorities to visit the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul'

'Turkish Foreign Ministry Spokesman Hami Aksoy says the consulate building will be searched as part of the investigation'















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October 10
Leaked surveillance footage shows the 15-man hit squad enter and escape from the country
 
The Washington Post cites US intelligence intercepts indicating that Saudi Crown Prince Salman sought to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and 'detain him'

October 11
Turkish media describes the Saudi squad as including royal guards, intelligence officers, soldiers and an autopsy expert, details later confirmed by the AP

Kalin says a joint working group was formed as part of the cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, upon the request of the latter

October 12
Saudi delegation arrives in Istanbul to form a joint investigation with Turkey 

The Washington Post reports that Turkey told US officials it has audio and video recordings which show how Khashoggi was "interrogated, tortured and then murdered" inside the consulate

October 13
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres stresses the need for a, "prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi’s death and full accountability for those responsible"

October 14
Following Trump's statement on the need for a 'severe' response to the Khashoggi murder, Saudi Arabia stated that "it would respond with greater action” to any action taken against it

Saudi King Salman and Erdogan speak on the phone about creating a joint-working group to investigate the murder

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry demands that investigators be allowed to search the consulate

'Khashoggi’s fiancee Hatice Cengiz writes in the New York times:
"If we have already lost Jamal, then condemnation is not enough. The people who took him from us, irrespective of their political positions, must be held accountable and punished to the full extent of the law."

October 15 
Saudi and Turkish officials visit Istanbul security headquarters for a two-hour closed door meeting, Saudi officials enter the consulate building. Turkish officials’ enter later for the first time, where the search of the building starts

Saudi Arabia claims they intended to abduct Khashoggi from Turkey, but accidentally killed him during an interrogation at the consulate, CNN reports

Trump speaks to Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz over the Khashoggi case

October 16

Turkish and Saudi authorities, who entered the consulate, leave the scene nine hours later

Turkish security sources say evidence of murder was found in the consulate

The Saudi Consul General Mohammad al-Otaibil eaves Istanbul

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo meets with Saudi Crown Prince

Details of the killing leaked to media by Turkish officials reveal that Khashoggi was cut into pieces














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October 17
Pompeo meet Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan and Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu.

Turkish police search the Saudi Consul's residence in Istanbul.

New York Times says one of the five persons in the Saudi hit team who came to Turkey is a diplomat, who accompanied the Saudi crown prince during his travels; another is a forensic expert and three are security officials.

Turkish and Saudi officials in the joint working group search the residence of the Saudi consul general.

October 18
French President suspends his visit to Saudi Arabia.
 
Sabah publishes photos showing a member of Crown Prince's entourage to the US walking into the Saudi consulate before Khashoggi vanished there.

The New York Times publishes photos of Maher Abdulaziz Mutreb -- a close companion to MBS  and a colonel in Saudi intelligence while entering the Saudi Consulate hours before Khashoggi.

October 19
Trump says “Certainly looks” like Khashoggi is dead.

Turkish foreign minister says Turkey will share the results with the whole world.

Saudi Consulate in Istanbul personnel give statement at prosecutor's office.

Several employees including a driver, accounting personnel, telephone operators and technical maintenance are testify under subpoena in the Istanbul courthouse.

October 20
Saudi prosecutor announces that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate after a “fistfight”.

Saudi Arabia arrests 18 people, sacks head of intelligence and Crown Prince's aid.

Saudi Arabia fires senior intelligence officials and decides to restructure its main intelligence agency after death of Khasshogi.

Saudi Arabia issues royal decree firing Deputy President of General Intelligence Ahmed bin Hassan bin Mohammed Assiri from his post. Saud bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani, an advisor to MBS also removed from his post.

Saudi Arabia fires a number of general intelligence officers including the assistant chief for intelligence affairs, assistant chief for human resources, and director of the general directorate of security and protection.  

October 21
Trump accuses Saudi Arabia with lies.

Saudi Foreign Minister denies knowledge of body`s location, says leadership wasn't aware of the operation.

The U.K., France and Germany condemn the killing of Khashoggi: “Nothing can justify this killing and we condemn it in the strongest possible terms." 

October 22
Turkish Police finds a vehicle belonging to the Saudi consulate abandoned at an underground garage in Istanbul.

Turkish media broadcasts drone footage showing Saudi consulate staff burning documents

Footage obtained by CNN shows that Saudi Arabia used a body double for Khashoggi, who among the 15 man hit squad flying to Istanbul on the same day as the murder.

King Salman and MBS call Khashoggi's son Saleh to express their condolences on the death of his father.

Reuters reports Turkish sources saying  Saudi Crown Prince advisor ran the killing via Skype.

October 23

CCTV shows Saudi body double wearing Khashoggi's clothes.
 
According to Reuters, before the killing of Khashoggi, Saud al-Qahtani, a top aide for crown prince, was on Skype, giving orders to a group of people inside a room of the Saudi consulate where they held Khashoggi.

Erdogan formalises narrative, calls the killing a premeditated murder. Erdogan calls for 18 suspects arrested by Saudi Arabia to stand trial in Khashoggi murder case in Istanbul.

Trump calls Saudi Arabia's statements as "the worst cover up ever"














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October 24
Turkish intelligence officials share all evidence related to Khashoggi case with CIA Director Gina Haspel, including audio tapes

October 25
Saudi public prosecutor's office says the information obtained from Turkey showed that suspects in Khashoggi case planned act in advance 

October 26 
“It is obvious that he [Khashoggi] was killed but where, you have to show the body,” Erdogan says in the Turkish capital Ankara

“The 18 people know who killed him, because the culprit is among them,” says Erdogan, adding that Turkey has additional information and documents

Istanbul prosecutors prepare extradition request for 18 suspects on charges of planned and deliberate murder with monstrosity and torture

The extradition request is referred to Turkish Foreign Ministry

A team of private company inspects the sewer on the street, where the Saudi Arabia Consulate located 

October 27
During a four-nation summit on Syria in Istanbul, Erdogan says he provided “necessary information” to Russian President Vladimir Putin, German Chancellor Angela Merkel and French President Emmanuel Macron 

October 31
Istanbul Chief Public Prosecutor's Office says in a statement that Khashoggi's body was disposed of, after being dismembered 

"The body of Khashoggi has been dismembered after being killed in the Saudi Consulate," the statement says, adding that he was strangled soon after entering the building"

He adds: "Saudi authorities didn't make any statement about local collaborator in Khashoggi murder"



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November 1
Washington Post: Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told White House adviser Jared Kushner and National Security Adviser John Bolton that Jamal Khashoggi was a "dangerous Islamist"

November 2
In an Op-Ed for the Washington Post, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says Turkey knows the perpetrators are among the 18 suspects detained in Saudi Arabia

"We also know that those individuals came to carry out their orders: Kill Khashoggi and leave. Finally, we know that the order to kill Khashoggi came from the highest levels of the Saudi government"

Courtney Radsch, a journalist and director of the Committee to Protect Journalists, says the Saudis use public relations firms and software to uplift their social media strategy and spy on dissidents 

November 4
Sheikh Yusuf al-Qaradawi: "Khashoggi said he was not an opposition figure, but they [Saudis] didn't accept that and killed him"

"Khashoggi was afraid to be jailed when he entered the consulate, but he did not think that there were people who would kill him and they indeed killed him"

November 5
Daily Sabah: Saudi authorities sent a chemist and toxicologist to Istanbul nine days after the gruesome murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi to get rid of his body and hide the evidence, Turkish newspaper Sabah reports

Saudi Arabian Prince Alwaleed bin Talal says an official investigation into the death of Khashoggi will "exonerate" the country's leader

The sons of Khashoggi emotionally appeal for the return of their father's body in an interview with CNN

"All what we want right now is to bury him in Al-Baqi [cemetery] in Medina with the rest of his family," Salah Khashoggi tells CNN 

November 6
Bandar al-Aiban, head of Saudi Arabia's Human Rights Commission, says in his speech before the UN Human Rights Council that the guilty will be brought to justice






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November 8
Saudi authorities used acid and other chemicals to dispose of slain journalist Jamal Khashoggi's body, a source at the Turkish attorney general's office has told Al Jazeera

Traces of hydrofluoric acid and other chemicals were found in a well at Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi's home in Istanbul

Ahmad Abdulaziz al-Janobi and toxicology expert Khaled Yahya al-Zahrani were among "the so-called investigative team", which visited the consulate every day until October 17, before leaving Turkey on October 20

November 9
Turkey ends search for Khashoggi's body, believed to have been dissolved in acid

November 12
New York Times reports that a member of the 15 man hit-squad told his superior by phone 'tell your boss' that the mission was a success, shortly after Khashoggi's death

November 13

Saudi officials 'shocked' by audio recording of Khashoggi's murder, shared with them by Turkey

November 15
Saudi Arabia announces the death penalty for five suspects in Khashoggi's murder, and charges 11, in spite of 18 arrested for their implication in his death

November 16
US Senate introduces bipartisan bill to place sanctions on 17 Saudi nationals involved in killing of Jamal Khashoggi




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