Saudi Arabia changes its story, admits Khashoggi death 'premeditated'

Saudi Arabia changes its story, admits Khashoggi death 'premeditated'
2 min read
25 October, 2018
Saudi Arabia has changed its story about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi yet again, admitting his killing was premeditated a few days after claiming his death was accidental
Saudi Arabia admits Khashoggi murder 'premeditated' [Getty]
Saudi Arabia has changed its story about the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi yet again, admitting his killing was premeditated a few days after claiming his death was accidental, the result of a 'brawl'.

"Regarding the case of the deceased citizen Jamal Khashoggi...the (Saudi) Public Prosecution has received information from the brotherly Turkish side through the joint Saudi-Turkish team....indicating the suspects in the incident had committed their crime with prior intent," a statement by the Saudi Arabian public prosecutor shared by the Saudi Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Twitter said.

"The Public Prosecution will continue its investigations in light of what has been received and the results of its queries to reach the facts God willing and deliver justice," the statement added.

After more than two weeks of vehemently denying Khashoggi was dead and insisting Khashoggi left the consulate unharmed, the Saudi government on Saturday said he was killed in a "fist fight" inside the building and that the murder was not state-sanctioned.

The admission marks a sharp u-turn by the Saudi government, which has progressed from denying the disappearance and death of Khashoggi at its consulate building in Istanbul, to admitting his death but claiming it was accidental as a result of a 'fist fight' which was later changed to 'chokehold'. 

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who had been living in self-imposed exile, visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to complete some documents that would allow him to remarry.

The 59-year-old failed to re-emerge, prompting widespread accusations that Saudi Arabia's leadership had killed the dissident writer, thought to be at the orders of powerful crown prince Mohammed bin Salman who has been deflecting the accusations towards 'lower ranking' personnel acting outside of their authority.

Speaking publicly for the first time since Khashoggi's death at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, MbS insisted the kingdom was cooperating with Turkish authorities and "justice will prevail", denouncing the killing as a "heinous crime".