Saudi businessman Khashoggi, ‘Onassis of the Arab world,’ dies

This file photo taken on September 02, 2007 shows Saudi-born businessman Adnan Khashoggi attending a gala charity of the World Association of Children's Friends at the Hotel de Paris in Monaco. Saudi arms dealer Adnan Khashoggi, a tycoon known for his lavish billionaire lifestyle and far-reaching international connections, has died in London at the age of 82, his family said on June 6, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 07 June 2017

Saudi businessman Khashoggi, ‘Onassis of the Arab world,’ dies

JEDDAH: Saudi businessman Adnan Khashoggi, once one of the world’s richest men with far-reaching international connections, died on Tuesday.
“Our beloved father Adnan Khashoggi, aged 82, died peacefully today in London while being treated for Parkinson’s Disease,” his family said in a statement.
“He lived his last days... with the same elegance, strength and dignity that characterized his remarkable life.”
“Our father understood the art of bringing people together better than anyone,” the family said. “He celebrated life in the living of it, and always with an innate curiosity in others.”
Khashoggi was well-known for his lavish lifestyle. He was estimated to be worth some $4 billion at the peak of his wealth in the 1970s. He was born in Makkah, the son of Muhammad Khashoggi. His family is of Turkish origin.

He “combined commercial acumen with an over-riding loyalty to his country. His work always furthered the interests of his country,” his family said.
Khashoggi left his studies in order to seek his fortune in business.
Othman Al-Omeir, former editor in chief of Asharq Al-Awsat and founder of Elaph, the Arab world’s first online newspaper, said Khashoggi “was a colorful personality. He was a self-made man… I was on very good terms with him.”

He added that Khashoggi “was one of the greatest businessmen in the world, at a time when there were not many rich people… He was very generous and kind.”
Al-Omeir described him as “the Bill Gates of his time” and “the Onassis of the Arab world,” referring to Aristotle Socrates Onassis, a Greek-Argentine shipping magnate who amassed the world’s largest privately owned shipping fleet and was one of the world’s richest and most famous men.
Khashoggi’s yacht, the Nabila, was the largest in the world at the time, and was used in the James Bond film “Never Say Never Again.”
He was “unique,” said Al-Omeir. “There was only one on Adnan Khashoggi. There can never be another one.”

— With input from AFP, AP

Saudi Arabia announces Khashoggi’s death, Trump calls it ‘good first step’

Updated 25 min 15 sec ago

Saudi Arabia announces Khashoggi’s death, Trump calls it ‘good first step’

  • The journalist died after a fistfight at the consulate in Istanbul
  • Deputy intelligence chief, royal court adviser removed from positions, 18 Saudis arrested

JEDDAH: US President Donald Trump on Friday called Saudi Arabia's announcement that suspects are in custody in the death of journalist Jamal Khashoggi a "good first step" and said he would work with Congress on a US response.

“Saudi Arabia has been a great ally, but what happened is unacceptable,” Trump said. Regarding the Saudi arrests, he said, “It's a big first step. It’s only a first step, but it’s a big first step.”

Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday the death of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying a preliminary investigation indicated he lost his life after a fight at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

“The discussions between Jamal Khashoggi and those he met at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul... devolved into a fistfight, leading to his death,” the Saudi Press Agency said, citing the public prosecutor.

Eighteen Saudis have been arrested in connection with the incident and the investigation is ongoing, the public prosecutor said.

“The Kingdom expresses its deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place and stresses the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the public opinion, to hold all those involved accountable and bring them to justice,” a statement on the SPA said.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the consulate to complete paperwork related to his divorce.

Deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Al-Asiri was removed from his position and Saud Al-Qahtani from his advisory role at the Royal Court, through royal decrees.

Three other intelligence officials who were also sacked have been named as Mohammad bin Saleh Al-Rumaih, Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Shaya and Rashad bin Hamed Al-Muhamadi.

King Salman also ordered the creation of a ministerial committee, headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to restructure the country’s General Intelligence agency and issue the results of its work within a month.

Members of the committee include the interior and foreign ministers as well as the heads of the General Intelligence and State Security.

A team of Saudi investigators were sent to Istanbul and have been working on the case with Turkish detectives, who entered the consulate on Thursday.

Earlier in the week, Saudi Arabia promised a thorough and transparent investigation into what happened to the journalist in Turkey.

(With AP)