Developments since Saudi's Khashoggi disappearance

2018-10-16 22:16

Here is a timeline of events in the disappearance of Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident, not seen since he entered the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Goes inside

At 13:14 (10:14 GMT) on October 2, Khashoggi is recorded entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul by a surveillance camera. The image is published by the Washington Post.

He was at the consulate to receive an official document for his upcoming marriage. His fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, accompanies him but waits outside.

Alarm raised

On October 3 the Washington Post, for whom Khashoggi writes opinion pieces, raises the alarm, saying the journalist has not been seen since he entered the consulate.

His fiancee camps out near barricades in front of the Saudi consulate hoping for news.

Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin tells a news conference: "According to information we have this individual... is still at the consulate as of now."

The US State Department says it is investigating.

Saudi denial

On October 4, after an initial period of silence, Saudi Arabia says Khashoggi disappeared "after he left the consulate building".

The Saudi ambassador is summoned to the Turkish foreign ministry.

On October 5 Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tells Bloomberg that Khashoggi is not inside the consulate and "we are ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises", which is Saudi sovereign territory.

Murdered in consulate?

On October 6 a government source says Turkish police believe Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate.

"Based on their initial findings, the police believe that the journalist was killed by a team especially sent to Istanbul and who left the same day," the source tells AFP.

Riyadh calls the claim "baseless".

On October 7 Turkey seeks permission to search Saudi Arabia's consulate.

Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, commenting for the first time, says he will wait for the outcome of the investigation before taking a decision.

Pressure on Riyadh

On October 8 Erdogan asks Riyadh to "prove" its claim that Khashoggi left its consulate.

US President Donald Trump says he is "concerned". US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo calls for a "thorough" and "transparent" probe by Washington's ally Saudi Arabia into the disappearance.

Search granted

On October 9 Saudi Arabia agrees to let Turkish authorities search the consulate, the Turkish foreign ministry says.

Local media report on the possibility that Khashoggi was kidnapped and taken to Saudi Arabia.

English-language state broadcaster TRT World says Turkish officials believe the Saudis may have taken the consulate's CCTV footage with them when they returned to the kingdom.


CCTV footage released by Turkish TV shows a van entering the consulate on October 2, before going to the nearby consul's residence.

The Washington Post, citing US intelligence intercepts, says Saudi Arabia's crown prince ordered an operation to trap Khashoggi.

The US State Department says it had not been tipped off about such an operation.

Trump calls for explanations from Saudi Arabia, saying he has talked "more than once" and "at the highest levels" to partners in Riyadh. He says he has been in contact with Khashoggi's fiancee, who has asked for his help.

Business backlash, Turkey search

On October 12 British entrepreneur Richard Branson suspends two directorships linked to tourism projects in Saudi Arabia.

Several prestigious partners cancel their planned attendance at the end of the month at the Future Investment Initiative in Riyadh, a lavish conference dubbed the "Davos in the Desert".

JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon and Ford chairman Bill Ford are among those to pull out of the Riyadh event.

On October 15 and 16 Turkish police investigators and prosecutors conduct an eight-hour overnight search of the Saudi consulate, taking away samples.

Pompeo in Riyadh

On October 15, Trump says he received a strong denial from King Salman of any involvement in the disappearance of Khashoggi.

"It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. Who knows?" Trump tells reporters.

The next day US top diplomat Mike Pompeo arrives in Riyadh for urgent talks with the king and crown prince.

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Read more on:    jamal khashoggi  |  saudi arabia  |  turkey

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