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Iran Press TV

Khashoggi's disappearance at Saudi consulate: A timeline

Iran Press TV

Mon Oct 8, 2018 06:06PM

With about a week after the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, his case is still shrouded in a veil of mystery.

Here comes a timeline of Khashoggi's disappearance at the Saudi consulate:

Tuesday October 2

Khashoggi visits the Saudi consulate in Istanbul after lunch to collect paperwork he needs in order to get married with his Turkish fiancée, Hatice Cengiz. Khashoggi's fiancée waits outside the building for several hours and the long delay prompts her to call police.

Wednesday October 3

Riyadh issues a statement confirming that Khashoggi is missing. The statement says the journalist disappeared after leaving the consulate building the day before and says the Saudi government is working with Turkish authorities to find him. Turkish officials say they believe Khashoggi is being held inside the consulate building, which they cannot search without an invitation.

Thursday October 4

Ankara summons the Saudi ambassador to the foreign ministry to discuss Khashoggi's whereabouts. Human Rights Watch says that if Saudi Arabia has detained Khashoggi without acknowledging it, his detention constitutes an enforced disappearance.

"If Saudi authorities surreptitiously detained Khashoggi, it would be yet another escalation of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's reign of repression against peaceful dissidents and critics," said Sarah Leah Whitson, Middle East director at Human Rights Watch. "The burden of proof is on Saudi Arabia to produce evidence for its claim that Khashoggi left the consulate alone, and that Saudi agents have not detained him."

Friday October 5

In an interview with Bloomberg, the Saudi crown prince says that the Turkish authorities are welcome to search the consulate building in Istanbul.

"We will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do ... we have nothing to hide," he told Bloomberg.

The Washington Post newspaper, which featured articles from Khashoggi on its Global Opinions section, publishes blank pages on its print and website editions, demanding urgent information about the journalist whereabouts.

Saturday October 6

Saudi Arabia invites a group of Reuters journalists into the six-story Istanbul mission in a bid to prove that Khashoggi is not on the premises or being detained inside the building.

At around midnight, Reuters claims that two Turkish officials have revealed Khashoggi was killed shortly after entering the consulate on Tuesday. Other sources say they believe the outspoken critic of the Saudi government is dead, adding – without providing evidence – that the 60-year-old was tortured and his body removed from the consulate building.

Saudi Arabia rejects the allegations as "baseless."

Sunday October 7

Turkish police pledge to release evidence backing the claim that the journalist is dead, including airport records and video footage of boxes being put in a black car. Officials say they believe a hit squad of 15 men arrived from Saudi Arabia on September 29, were present in the building on the day of Khashoggi's disappearance and left shortly afterwards.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he is "saddened" by the case and will wait for the results of the police investigation regarding Khashoggi's fate.

Amnesty International issues a statement noting that if Khashoggi's murder is proven, it would amount to "extrajudicial execution."

"If true, this would be an abysmal new low. Such an assassination within the grounds of the Consulate would amount to an extrajudicial execution. This case sends a shockwave among Saudi Arabian human rights defenders and dissidents everywhere, eroding any notion of seeking safe haven abroad," the prominent rights group says.

The statement goes on to say that Saudi Arabia "routinely uses draconian laws to crack down on peaceful dissent at home, and has even arrested dissidents abroad in the past."

Amnesty also criticizes the international community for its "deafening silence on Saudi Arabia's crackdown on freedom of expression."

Monday October 8

Turkey summons the Saudi ambassador for a second time in order to request Riyadh's "full cooperation" in the investigation, including permission to conduct another search at the Istanbul consulate.

Mohamed Okda, a friend of the missing Saudi journalist, says Khashoggi has "most likely" been killed, adding, "We'd like to know exactly what happened inside the Saudi consulate here in Istanbul and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance and we demand his immediate release, if alive."

Okda, speaking to the press outside of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, accuses the Saudi crown prince of being "a killer" who "doesn't care about international justice."

Also on Monday, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asked Saudi officials to prove their claim that missing journalist had left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"Consulate officials cannot save themselves by saying that he left the building... Don't you have camera?" Erdogan told a news conference, adding, "If he left, you have to prove it with footage. Those who ask Turkish authorities where he is should ask what happened."

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