The world has been left shocked and appalled after finding out the details of journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death. Even more shocking is the fact that he was killed by government officials of his country and not by any terrorist. As details of the murder were exposed to the public, it was clear that this was a plan hatched by the highest officials of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. Khashoggi was highly critical of the Saudi Royalties which had led to this whole incident. No wonder he had fled his own country years back and had applied for US citizenship. Here is how the whole incident unfolded.
How It All Started
As mentioned before, Khashoggi was a journalist. He was the manager as well as the editor-in-chief of the Al-Arab News Channel. His views were progressive and often clashed with the ruling king and crown prince of Saudi Arabia. His views earned him a bad reputation, and this prompted him to flee on a self-imposed exile to the USA in 2017 and avoid the wrath of the government. In the USA, he started contributing to the Washington Post. His reformatory views of Saudi Arabia and his negative criticism of the Saudi government didn’t go down well with the royalties. He had entered the USA with an O visa which is also known as the genius visa reserved for people with extraordinary abilities in the field of arts, science, commerce, among others. Soon, he applied for a US citizenship, too.
He was courting his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, and wanted to get all legal documents required to get married from the consulate in the USA. However, he was redirected to the Saudi Consulate in Turkey.
The Day Of The Murder
Khashoggi did have an inkling that his welcome at the Saudi Consulate won’t be too warm, so he had instructed his fiancee to call on the authorities if he didn’t return within a stipulated time. He had also intimated his friends in the USA. His abrupt appearance at the consulate on September 28 went too well. He was assured that he will get his documents in time and was asked to visit again on October 2. A detailed investigation revealed that a plan to kill him was hatched within those few days and a group of three Saudi persons had arrived on the October 1. Khashoggi himself was not completely sure about them despite their nice hospitality the last time he went.
A 15-member team of Saudis also arrived early on October 2, and they entered the consulate hours before Khashoggi was scheduled to visit. Khashoggi and his fiancee arrived there, and while his fiancee waited, he entered the building at 1 PM, but by 4 PM he was still not back. Cengiz must have sensed there was something wrong and informed the authorities.
Further Investigations And Revelations
Despite several pieces of evidence that Khashoggi had entered the building but had not left it, Turkish investigators were a tad wary of the whole investigation. After all, it was not easy to investigate diplomats and royalties from another country. They also found that Turkish employees were all asked to leave the consulate early on the day of the murder. After repeated appeals to the world leaders by Cengiz, the Turkish president announced that a team of Turkish and Saudi officials will inspect the possible scene of the crime for evidence. They actually found evidence of tampering and also believed that Khashoggi was murdered right at the consulate. The Saudi government also acknowledged that Khashoggi had been involved in a fight inside the consulate. All evidence led to the fact that the murder was premeditated and done in cold blood. The only problem is his body was nowhere to be found.
Despite repeated talks between the Turkish and Saudi officials, there has been no clue about the body yet. However, the 18 suspects found by the Turkish officials have been named, and the Saudi public prosecutor has promised to have their trial in their own country. The disappearance of the body still remains one of the biggest mysteries, and some investigators have opined that the body was probably dismembered first and then dissolved in acid.
It was clear that Khashoggi was tortured severely before the murder happened. Theories abound in this regard. Some even claim that his body was cut with a chainsaw when he was alive. Neighbors reported that the consulate had an unusual barbecue party that afternoon, and many have speculated that this was probably done to camouflage the smell of the incineration. The Saudi government has acknowledged that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, but maintained that he was in a fight with the Saudi officials which led to the killing. The investigation of this gruesome murder is still on-going.