Two years ago, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed by Saudi agents at the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate, a murder that shocked the world.
Here is a summary.
– Never leaves consulate –
The Washington Post columnist, who had taken refuge in the United States in 2017, is recorded on camera entering the consulate on October 2, 2018.
His fiancee Hatice Cengiz waits outside, but he never emerges.
On October 5, powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says Khashoggi is not inside the consulate, saying: “We have nothing to hide.”
The next day, a source close to the Turkish government says police believe he was murdered inside the premises by a team sent to Istanbul specifically for the purpose, who left the same day.
Riyadh calls the claim “baseless”.
– ‘Likely dismembered’ –
On October 7, The Washington Post cites a US official as saying Khashoggi’s body “was likely dismembered, removed in boxes and flown out of the country”.
The New York Times says Turkey identified a suspect in the affair as being from Prince Mohammed’s inner circle.
Three other suspects are linked to his security team.
– Riyadh admits murder –
On October 20, Riyadh finally admits Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate, claiming this was after a “brawl”.
Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir tells Fox News on October 21 there had been a “tremendous mistake” and that those responsible acted “outside the scope of their authority”.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says on October 23 that Khashoggi’s “savage” murder was carried out by a 15-person team from Riyadh.
– ‘Painful’ –
On October 24, the crown prince says the affair is “very painful for all Saudis, it’s a repulsive incident”.
On November 2, Erdogan says the order for the murder came from “the highest levels” of the Saudi government.
On November 15, Washington announces sanctions against 17 Saudis allegedly involved. Germany, France and Canada follow suit.
– Prince accused –
The Washington Post on November 16 quotes anonymous sources as saying the CIA had concluded the crown prince was involved in the murder plot.
But President Donald Trump says the CIA has “nothing definitive”.
On December 4, Republican senators say after a CIA briefing that they firmly believe the crown prince was complicit.
On December 13, the Senate adopts a resolution holding him responsible.
– ‘Credible evidence’ -On June 19, 2019, independent UN special rapporteur Agnes Callamard says there is “credible evidence” linking the crown prince to the killing and calls for an international criminal investigation.
Riyadh rejects her comments as baseless.
– Trial in Turkey –
On July 3, 2020 an Istanbul court puts 20 Saudis on trial in absentia, including two close to the crown prince.
Among the accused are two identified by the Turkish investigators as commanders of the operation: Ahmed al-Assiri and Saud al-Qahtani.
The Istanbul prosecutor has since charged six other Saudis.
– Death sentences overturned –
On September 7, a Saudi court overturns the five death sentences handed out in December over the murder, jailing eight unidentified people for terms ranging from seven to 20 years.
On October 2, on the second anniversary of the killing, Amnesty International and Reporters Without Borders say the trial was a “parody of justice” and call for an international probe.