Jamal Khashoggi killing: Journalist strangled, dismembered after entering Saudi consulate; timeline of events since murder

Here is a timeline of events since the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom's Istanbul consulate on 2 October.


On 2 October, Washington Post contributor Khashoggi was recorded on camera entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. According to his fiancee, he went there to collect a document for his upcoming marriage.

In an interview published on October 5, Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman maintained that Khashoggi entered the consulate but came out shortly afterwards. The next day a source close to the Turkish government said the police believed that the journalist was murdered inside the consulate "by a team especially sent to Istanbul and who left the same day". Riyadh called the claim "baseless".

 Jamal Khashoggi killing: Journalist strangled, dismembered after entering Saudi consulate; timeline of events since murder

Saudi Arabia admitted journalist Jamal Khashoggi died at the Saudi Consulate at Instanbul. Reuters

Grim details

On 7 October The Washington Post cited a US official saying Khashoggi's body "was likely dismembered, removed in boxes and flown out of the country".

Turkish pro-government newspaper Yeni Safak reported on 17 October that Khashoggi was tortured before being decapitated inside the consulate, saying it had heard audio recordings of the event.

The New York Times then said a suspect identified by Turkey in the disappearance was in Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's inner circle. Three other suspects are linked to his security detail.

Saudi acknowledges murder

US President Donald Trump on 18 October said he believed that Khashoggi was dead and warned of "very severe" consequences should Saudi Arabia be proven responsible.

Two days later Riyadh finally admitted Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate after talks deteriorated into a "brawl". The public prosecutor said 18 Saudi nationals have been detained.

Riyadh simultaneously announced that top intelligence official Ahmad al-Assiri and royal media advisor Saud al-Qahtani, both top aides to the crown prince were sacked. Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir told Fox News on 21 October that the operation was not ordered by the crown prince.

'Total fiasco'

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on 23 October said the "savage" murder of Khashoggi had been planned for days in advance and carried out by a 15-person team that came from Riyadh.

Trump ridiculed the kingdom's response as "one of the worst" cover-ups in history. "It was a total fiasco," he later added.

'Repulsive incident'

On 24 October Erdogan spoke with Prince Mohammed in their first telephone conversation since the killing, discussing their "joint efforts" in investigating the case, a Turkish presidential source said.

And in his first public comments since 2 October, the crown prince addressed the investment summit in Riyadh, denouncing Khashoggi's murder and vowing "justice will prevail". "The incident was very painful for all Saudis, it's a repulsive incident and no one can justify it," he says.

On 25 October, Saudi Arabia's public prosector says the murder was "premeditated", based on information supplied by Turkey. In a statement carried by the state-run Saudi Press Agency, he says the public prosecution "continues its investigation".

'Strangled' and 'dismembered'

On 26 October Istanbul's chief prosecutor prepared a request for the 18 suspects to be extradited to Turkey. However, the Saudi foreign minister insists that "the individuals are Saudi nationals. They're detained in Saudi Arabia, and the investigation is in Saudi Arabia, and they will be prosecuted in Saudi Arabia."

On October 29, Saudi Arabia's chief prosecutor arrived in Istanbul for talks with his Turkish counterparts. On 31 October, only an hour after the Saudi prosecutor left the city, the Turkish prosecutor said Khashoggi was "strangled" as soon as he entered the consulate and then "dismembered" as part of a "premeditated" plan.

It is the first public confirmation of such details after gruesome reports in Turkish media. The Turkish prosecutor's office said it was "obliged" to reveal the details after the talks with their Saudi counterpart produced "no concrete results".

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Updated Date: Nov 01, 2018 14:03:33 IST