Jamal Khashoggi, a well known journalist and critic of the Saudi authorities, walked into the nation’s consulate in Istanbul final week to acquire some paperwork and has not been seen since.
His fiancée fears that he has been kidnapped or killed. The authorities in Istanbul consider he was murdered by Saudi brokers. Saudi Arabia insists that he left the consulate shortly after he arrived.
Here’s what we all know – and do not know – about his disappearance.
Mr Khashoggi is a distinguished journalist who has coated main tales, together with the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan and the rise of Osama Bin Laden, for numerous Saudi information organisations.
He served as an adviser to prime Saudi officers, however later fell out of favour with the federal government.
He went into self-imposed exile within the US final 12 months, and has written a month-to-month column within the Washington Put up through which he has criticised the insurance policies of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
In his first column for the newspaper, Mr Khashoggi mentioned that he feared being arrested in an obvious crackdown on dissent overseen by the prince since he grew to become first in line to succeed his father King Salman earlier that 12 months.
“The individuals being arrested aren’t even being dissidents, they only have an unbiased thoughts,” he advised the BBC’s Newshour programme simply three days earlier than he disappeared.
Why was he on the consulate?
He first visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 28 September to acquire a doc certifying that he had divorced his ex-wife, however he was advised he must return.
Mr Khashoggi organized to return again on 2 October and arrived at 13:14 native time for his appointment, which was scheduled for 13:30.
He reportedly advised associates that he had been handled “very warmly” on his first go to and reassured them that he wouldn’t face any issues.
Regardless of this, he gave his Turkish fiancée Hatice Cengiz two cell phones and advised her to name an adviser to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan if he didn’t come again out.
She in the end waited for greater than 10 hours outdoors the consulate and returned on Wednesday morning when Mr Khashoggi had nonetheless not reappeared.
What does Turkey say occurred to him?
Turkish officers say Mr Khashoggi was killed on the premises by a staff of Saudi brokers and that his physique was then eliminated. However they haven’t supplied definitive proof to show this.
An unnamed senior official advised the New York Occasions there was a posh operation through which Mr Khashoggi was killed inside two hours of arriving after which dismembered.
Professional-government Turkish newspaper Sabah mentioned it had recognized a 15-member staff of suspected Saudi brokers who flew into and out of Istanbul on the day of the disappearance.
One of many males, Maher Mutreb, served as a colonel in Saudi intelligence and was primarily based on the nation’s embassy in London, the BBC understands.
9 of the brokers reportedly arrived on a personal jet from the Saudi capital, Riyadh, at round 03:15 on the day Mr Khashoggi visited the consulate.
The remainder of the suspected brokers are reported to have arrived later that day on a second personal jet or on industrial flights. The group then checked in to 2 inns close by the consulate constructing.
CCTV footage broadcast by Turkish TV seems to indicate teams of Saudi males getting into the nation by way of Istanbul airport after which checking in to the inns.
It additionally reveals autos driving as much as the consulate an hour earlier than Mr Khashoggi’s go to, together with black vans regarded as central to inquiries.
One of many vans is reported to have taken a number of the males from the consulate to the close by residence of the Saudi consul about two hours after Mr Khashoggi’s arrival.
The group then left the nation on the 2 personal jets that flew to Riyadh by way of Cairo and Dubai, based on investigators.
Turkish workers on the consul’s residence have been additionally “swiftly” advised to depart on the day he disappeared, based on Sabah.
The Washington Put up additionally reviews that previous to Mr Khashoggi’s go to, US intelligence had intercepted communications of Saudi officers discussing a plot to seize him.
What does Saudi Arabia say?
Prince Mohammed advised Bloomberg Information final week that his authorities was “very eager to know what occurred to him”, and that Mr Khashoggi had left the consulate “after a couple of minutes or one hour”.
“We’ve nothing to cover,” he mentioned.
Prince Mohammed’s brother and the Saudi ambassador to the US, Prince Khaled bin Salman, has insisted all reviews about his disappearance or demise “are utterly false and baseless”.
- Who’s Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman?
The nation’s international ministry has mentioned it’s “open to co-operation” and a search of the constructing can go forward as a part of the investigation.
Turkey has mentioned it should conduct a search, however has additionally requested for definitive proof that Mr Khashoggi left the constructing.
Individually, Mr Khashoggi’s son has advised the Saudi-owned Al Arabiya information outlet that his father’s disappearance has been “politicised” by international events.
“The problem is that there’s a Saudi citizen who has gone lacking,” he mentioned.