Daily Management Review

Saudi Explanation Of Khashoggi’s Death Criticised Internationally


Saudi Explanation Of Khashoggi’s Death Criticised Internationally
Following the declaration of Saudi Arabia that the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi was because of a fist-fight, there has been international criticism of the claim.
In its attempt to quench some of the international criticisms, Saudi Arabia announced Sunday that 18 unidentified Saudis had been arrested and two senior officials close to Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman were sacked in connection to the incident.
According to a statement by the Saudi attorney-general, after the preliminary investigations it has been found that there were “discussions between [Khashoggi] and people who met him during his visit to the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul led to a fight” and this caused the death of the veteran journalist.
It had been two weeks since Riyadh had been continuously denying the death until it admitted now that Khashoggi was dead. The kingdom had also earlier denied any role in the disappearance of the journalist after he had got into the Saudi consulate on Oct 2.
And yet, there is very little clue about the fate of the body of the journalist. Additionally, the claims of Saudi Arabia are also in contradiction to the explanation that Turkey, where the Saudi consulate where the incident took place is located, had been giving. Turkey claimed to be in possession of proof that a 15-man hit squad flew into Istanbul, killed Khashoggi and dismembered him. Turkey also claimed that they are in possession of audio proof that discloses the manner of his death.
On Sunday, Turkey warned that no cover up of the incident would be tolerated by it.
“Turkey will reveal what happened. No one should have any doubt about that. We are conducting an independent investigation,” Omer Celik, a spokesman for Turkey’s ruling Justice and Development Party told Anadolu, the state news agency, on Saturday. “We are not prematurely accusing anyone, but it is not acceptable to us for anything to remain covered up.”
He believed “it’s not possible for the Saudi administration to wiggle itself out of this crime if it’s confirmed,” said Justice and Development deputy chairman Numan Kurtulmus.
But the Saudi claims have been criticised by a host of international leaders.
The Saudi explanation has not been accepted by Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel. She said a terrible thing had happened: “where not everything has been cleared up and of course we have to clear this up.”
“The fact that the Saudis last night confirmed that he died, after previously insisting he left the consulate alive, shows that we haven’t been told the full truth,” Lars Lokke Rasmussen said. “And we must insist on getting that,” said the Danish prime minister according to a report in Bloomberg.
There are still many unanswered questions, said Jean-Yves Le Drian, French foreign minister, on Saturday evening. “They require a thorough and diligent investigation to establish all the responsibilities and to ensure that those responsible for the murder of Mr Jamal Khashoggi are answerable for their actions.”
However, the explanation by Riyadh has been apparently accepted by United States president Donald Trump and has said that Saudi Arabia had lied to him “It’s a great first step,” the US president said of its announcement.
However a number of US politicians, including he likes of Richard Blumenthal, a Democratic senator, said that the Saudi statement did not sound credible to them. A demand for the US to conduct its own investigation in to the incident was made by Bob Corker, the top Republican on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.