‘The mission’: Saudi Arabia’s version of Khashoggi murder

'The mission': Saudi Arabia's version of Khashoggi murder thumbnail
RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s public prosecutor on Thursday released its account of the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate.

Here are the conclusions of the official Saudi investigation into how the prominent critic ended up dead and dismembered:

The prosecutor’s statement said “the incident” began on September 29, 2018 when a “former” deputy chief of intelligence ordered the “leader of the mission” to “bring back the victim by means of persuasion, and if persuasion fails, to do so by force”.

While the prosecutor’s office did not give names, General Ahmad al-Assiri, who was fired as deputy head of intelligence in the wake of the killing, has been implicated in the Khashoggi murder.

The mission leader — also not named in the report — then put together a 15-member team to “return” the journalist from Turkey.

Khashoggi had an appointment set for October 2 at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to collect paperwork for his upcoming wedding to his Turkish fiancee.

The team included a forensics expert “for the purpose of removing evidence from the scene” and a local collaborator tasked with securing a safe house “in case force had to be used to return the victim”.

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