Washington Post Columnist Jamal Khashoggi Died in Istanbul - Saudi State Media
The Saudi prosecutor general announced on state television Friday that their preliminary conclusion about the fate of journalist Jamal Khashoggi is that a fight broke out between him and people who met him in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, an altercation which led to his death, Sputnik reports.
The Saudi top prosecutor also said that while the investigation is still underway, 18 Saudi nationals have been arrested so far.
Saudi state media also announced that Gen. Ahmed Al-Assiri, a senior adviser to Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman and high-ranking official in the monarchy's general intelligence directorate, was fired from his post Friday amid reports that he would be a "fall guy" for Khashoggi's death, Sputnik reported. It was also reported that Saud al-Qahtani, a royal court adviser, was removed.
The report further indicated that Saudi King Salman had ordered the formation of a ministerial committee, with Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman as its head, to restructure the intelligence agency.
The Washington Post, a publication to which Khashoggi regularly contributed, reported on Tuesday that Qahtani is Mohammad bin Salman's "media adviser but also increasingly his consigliere," helping to boost his media image but also to use the latest methods in cracking down on dissent online.
The claims come amid news that Salman and Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan spoke on the phone Friday about the progress of both of their investigations.
Khashoggi never left the consulate after entering it on October 2 to obtain papers necessary for his upcoming marriage. After weeks of speculation and widespread reports that he had been killed or abducted out of the country, this is the first confirmation of the journalist's death.