Saudi Arabia belatedly confirms that dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. An internal investigation was conducted after the disappearance of the Saudi journalist, whose trail was lost earlier this month, a Saudi state media reports.
However, Riyadh had not admitted as yet that the journalist, critical of the absolute Saudi monarchy, had died, as suggested by Turkey and the United States.
‘The talks between Jamal Khashoggi and the people with whom he met at the kingdom`s consulate in Istanbul ... degenerated into a fight, which led to his death," the official Saudi SPA agency quoted the prosecutor`s office as saying.
In addition, Saudi Arabia announced the dismissal of a senior intelligence officer for the case.
‘Ahmad al Asiri, vice president of the general intelligence service has been dismissed from his post," said the state media. Riad also fired the royal court counselor Saud al Qahtani, according to the same source.
The agency, which cited the Saudi General Prosecutor`s Office, said the investigations would continue and that 18 people of Saudi nationality had already been detained in a preventive manner in the Khashoggi case.
King Salman also ordered the formation of a ministerial committee headed by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman to restructure the intelligence agency, state media reported.
Khashoggi disappeared on October 2 after entering the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul to carry out procedures before his marriage with the Turkish Hatice Cengiz.