Riyadh, Oct 20 (IENews) Saudi Arabia on Saturday confirmed that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in Istanbul after a fight, the kingdom’s state media reported.
This is the first time that Saudi Arabia has confirmed the death.
“The discussions between Jamal Khashoggi and those he met at the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul…devolved into a fistfight, leading to his death,” the Saudi Press Agency said, citing the public prosecutor.
Eighteen Saudi nationals have been held over the case as the investigations are still underway, Saudi’s public prosecutor said, adding that royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani and deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Asiri have been dismissed from their posts.
“The Kingdom affirms that all those involved will be brought to justice,” SPA said in a tweet.
Following the announcement, King Salman has reportedly ordered the formation of a ministerial committee, headed by Crown Prince Mohammed, to restructure the intelligence services.
Khashoggi had disappeared from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul 18 days ago.
In Washington, the White House “acknowledged” the death confirmation, and said it would continue to “closely follow” all investigations and “advocate for justice.”
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres also called for a “prompt, thorough, transparent” probe into the circumstances of the case and urged full accountability for those involved.