Saudi Arabia Breaks Silence On Jamal Khashoggi's Death, Says He Died In At Istanbul Consulate

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| October 20 , 2018 , 12:17 IST

Saudi Arabia on Saturday confirmed Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate in Istanbul after a fist fight.

According to media reports, Riyadh conceded that Khashoggi died as a result of the altercation after he had come to the consulate to obtain paperwork needed for his upcoming wedding.

According to reports in local media, five high-ranking officials have been removed from their posts, including the deputy head of the Saudi intelligence service, and 18 Saudis have been detained.

A local media statement read, "The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia expresses deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place in this case and affirms the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the attention of the public and to hold accountable all those involved.”

Warnings Over Retaliation

Earlier this month, Saudi Arabia has warned that it would retaliate to any sanctions imposed on it over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi amidst threats by US President Donald Trump that there would be "severe punishment" for the nation if Khashoggi was killed.

"The kingdom affirms its total rejection of any threats or attempts to undermine it whether through threats to impose economic sanctions or the use of political pressure," an official said on Sunday

The official added that Riyadh would "respond to any action with a bigger one", pointing out that Saudi Arabia "plays an effective and vital role in the world economy".

What Had Happened?

Jamal Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist known to be a Saudi royal critic, disappeared after entering the Saudi consulate in Turkey's Istanbul on October 2, resulting in reports that he had been murdered. While the Turkish authorities claimed he must have been murdered within the consulate, Saudi Arabia insists that he left safely.

Western companies have been distancing themselves from Saudi Arabia since the reports came out, and Britain, France and Germany released a joint statement saying they were treating Khashoggi's disappearance "with the utmost seriousness".