Jamal Khashoggi Mohammed bin Salman politics saudi arabia

Saudi Arabia Confirms Jamal Khashoggi Death, Blames ‘Fist Fight’

What? You don't believe them?

A “fight fight” gone horribly awry.

That’s what Saudi Arabia is going with as the preliminary “official” word on what happened to slain dissident Jamal Khashoggi after he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul earlier this month to obtain necessary papers for his wedding.

For weeks, Turkish intelligence and media outlets loyal to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan have provided the world with a steady stream of information with regard to what they say happened inside the consulate.

According to those accounts, Khashoggi was tortured, murdered and ultimately dismembered by Salah Muhammad al-Tubaigy, a high-ranking Saudi and an autopsy expert who accompanied 14 other men to Turkey aboard two Gulfstream IVs on the day Khashoggi was killed.

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‘When I Do This Job, I Listen To Music’: Horrific Details Of Khashoggi Murder Revealed

Initially, Riyadh told the world that contrary to the accounts of Turkish officials,  Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after entering. Here, as a reminder, is what Crown Prince bin Salman told Bloomberg in an interview published on October 5:

Bloomberg: What’s the Jamal Khashoggi story?

MBS: We hear the rumors about what happened. He’s a Saudi citizen and we are very keen to know what happened to him. And we will continue our dialogue with the Turkish government to see what happened to Jamal there.

Bloomberg: He went into the Saudi consulate.

MBS: My understanding is he entered and he got out after a few minutes or one hour. I’m not sure. We are investigating this through the foreign ministry to see exactly what happened at that time.

After two weeks worth of credible reporting that contradicted Saudi denials, the monarchy launched an investigation. Earlier this week, news leaked that Riyadh intended to change their story to a tale of “rogue” generals who were authorized to kidnap Khashoggi but did not have the Crown Prince’s blessing to commit murder.

On Thursday, the New York Times suggested the monarchy might ultimately blame Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri, the former public face of the war in Yemen and someone with enough sway and authority to allow Riyadh to argue that the operation could have been carried out without the Crown Prince having specifically sanctioned the killing.

That brings us to Friday evening, and according to state-run Saudi media, 18 people have been arrested in connection with Khashoggi’s death (now confirmed). The statement from the Kingdom asserts that when Khashoggi entered the consulate in Istanbul, he got into an argument when confronted.

That confrontation, the Saudis claim, escalated into “a fist fight that led to his death.” Here is the actual translated statement:

The Attorney General stated the following: –
Preliminary investigations conducted by the Public Prosecution on the disappearance of citizen Jamal bin Ahmad Khashoggi revealed that the discussions that took place between him and the persons who met him while he was in the Consulate of the Kingdom in Istanbul Led to a quarrel and clashing hands with the citizen / Jamal Khashoggi, which led to his death – may God have mercy on him .

The Public Prosecutor’s Office confirms that its investigations into this case are continuing with the 18 individuals who are all Saudi nationals in preparation for reaching all the facts and declaring them accountable and bringing to justice all those involved in this case.  It is a  matter of concern .

The Saudis now say they’ve established a commission to further investigate Khashoggi’s untimely demise. A full report is due within a month. The commission will apparently be comprised of national security officials, the foreign ministry and the interior ministry.

Gen. Ahmed al-Asiri has indeed been relieved of his position, confirming Thursday’s reporting from the Times.

Needless to say, it is highly unlikely that the international community is going to believe the “fist fight” story, especially given how wildly divergent it is from the account of Turkish intelligence.

Amusingly, Saudi sources claim the Crown Prince had “no knowledge” of the operation.

Now you see why Khashoggi’s children requested an independent international commission to investigate.

Full coverage of Khashoggi disappearance

Saudi Arabia To Blame Gen. Ahmed al-Assiri For Khashoggi Murder In Effort To Clear Crown Prince

Trump Says King Salman’s ‘Rogue Killers’ Theory On Khashoggi Death Is Entirely Plausible

‘I Don’t Want To Lose That Order’: Trump Says ‘Punishment’ For Khashoggi Murder Won’t Involve Canceling Saudi Arms Deal

‘You Can Hear He Was Tortured’: Turkey Has Audio Of Khashoggi Murder, But Trump Doesn’t Care Because ‘Arms Deals!’

U.S. Knew Of Saudi Plot Against Khashoggi, Senators Invoke Magnitsky Act, Forcing Trump To Investigate

Video Shows Saudi ‘Assassination Squad’ Sent For Khashoggi, Trump Says ‘I Know Nothing’

Mohammed Bin Salman May Have Sent Hit Squad To ‘Murder’ Journalist Khashoggi In Turkey


3 comments on “Saudi Arabia Confirms Jamal Khashoggi Death, Blames ‘Fist Fight’

  1. “We’re gonna need more headphones…”

  2. Lance Manly

    Two weeks and all they the come up with is a fist fight

  3. Now that they have admitted the he died in their custody there should be no problem for them to produce the body to an international forensics team who can confirm the cause of death. Or are they then going to come up with an acceptable explanation for why they had to dismember the body…

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