Full text: Saudi Arabia's public prosecution briefing on the Jamal Khashoggi murder investigation

Updated 01 March 2019

Full text: Saudi Arabia's public prosecution briefing on the Jamal Khashoggi murder investigation

General/Prosecutor general office: Briefing on Saudi Arabia's investigation findings on Khashoggi killing

Riyadh, November 15, 2018

The public prosecution office said in a press briefing that through the investigations carried out so far with the 21 suspects in the case of the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, the following findings have been reached:

1. The incident started on September 29, 2018, upon the issuance of an order to bring back the victim to the Kingdom by means of persuasion, if not, by force. The former deputy president of the general intelligence presidency (GIP) has issued this order to the mission commander.

2. The mission commander has formed a 15-member team that consisted of three groups (negotiations/ intelligence/ logistics) to persuade the victim to return to the Kingdom. The commander  mission has suggested to the former deputy president of the GIP to assign a former colleague, assigned at the time to work with a former advisor, to head the negotiation group in the team because of his previous relationship with the victim. 

3. The former deputy president of the GIP has contacted the former advisor to request the assignment of the individual who will lead the negotiation group. The former advisor agreed to this request and asked to meet the mission commander

4. The former advisor has met with the mission commander and the negotiation team; to share with them information relevant to the mission based on his specialization in media. The former advisor has expressed his belief that the victim was coopted by organizations and countries hostile to the Kingdom and that the victim’s presence outside of Saudi Arabia represents a threat to national security and he encouraged the team to persuade the victim to return, noting that his return represents a significant achievement of the mission.

5. The mission commander has contacted a forensics expert to join the team for the purpose of clearing any evidence from the scene in the case force had to be used to return the victim. The forensics expert joined the team without the knowledge of his superiors.

6. The mission commander has contacted a collaborator in Turkey to secure a safe location in case force had to be used to return the victim to the Kingdom.

7. After examining and inspecting the Consulate, the head of the negotiation team has concluded that it would not be possible to transfer the victim by force to the safe location in case negotiations reached a dead end. The head of the negotiation team decided to murder the victim if the negotiations failed. The investigation concluded that the incident resulted in murder.

8. The investigation has concluded that the crime was carried out after a physical altercation with the victim took place, where he was forcibly restrained and injected with a large amount of a certain drug resulting in an overdose that led to his death.

9. The investigation has identified those that ordered and carried out the murder, totaling 5 individuals that have confessed to the murder and their statements squared.

10: After the murder, the victim’s body was dismembered by the individuals that have committed the murder and was transferred outside the consulate building.

11. The investigation has concluded that the body was removed from the Consulate building by 5 individuals.

12. The individual who delivered the body to the collaborator has been identified.

13. Based upon the description provided by the individual who delivered the body to the collaborator, a composite sketch of the collaborator has been produced.

14. The investigation has identified the two individuals who wore the victim’s clothes after the murder and disposed of the victim’s belongings in a trash receptacle, including his watch and glasses, after leaving the Consulate building.

15. The investigation has established that the surveillance cameras in the Consulate were disabled, and the investigation identified the individual responsible for doing so.

16. The investigation has found that 4 suspects provided logistical support to those who carried out the crime.

17. The investigation has concluded that the mission commander has agreed with head and members of the negotiation - that made the decision to murder the victim and carried out the crime -  to write a false report to the former deputy president of GIP that stated that the victim had left the Consulate building after the failure of negotiating or forcing his return.

*Translated by Arab News


Afghanistan to free 900 more Taliban prisoners

Updated 4 min 49 sec ago

Afghanistan to free 900 more Taliban prisoners

  • The government earlier responded to the Taliban’s cease-fire offer by announcing plans to release up to 2,000 insurgent prisoners
  • The cease-fire, only the second of its kind in the 19-year-old conflict, has raised hopes of an extended truce

KABUL: Afghan authorities plan to release 900 more Taliban prisoners Tuesday, as a rare cease-fire by the insurgents entered its third and last day.
The pause in fighting, which came into effect Sunday to mark the Muslim holiday of Eid Al-Fitr, was for the most part holding out across the country, officials said.
The government earlier responded to the Taliban’s cease-fire offer by announcing plans to release up to 2,000 insurgent prisoners.
On Monday they freed 100 people and will release another 900 on Tuesday, the government said, the biggest group of Taliban prisoners freed so far.
“There is a decision to release 900 today,” National Security Council spokesman Javid Faisal told AFP.
But the exact number could vary subject to legal procedures, he added.
The cease-fire, only the second of its kind in the 19-year-old conflict, has raised hopes of an extended truce that could pave the way for long-awaited peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan government.
President Ashraf Ghani has said his administration is ready to begin the negotiations, seen as key to ending the war in the impoverished country.
On Tuesday officials said the cease-fire, the country’s first initiated by the Taliban, had largely been observed.
The only other comparable pause in violence came over Eid in 2018, an olive branch offered by Ghani.
Violence in Afghanistan escalated after the Taliban signed a deal with Washington in February to withdraw all US forces by next year.
The agreement also stipulated the Afghan government would first release up to 5,000 Taliban prisoners and the militants would free about 1,000 national security personnel.
Prior to this week’s releases, Kabul had already freed about 1,000 Taliban inmates, while the insurgents had let go about 300 Afghan security forces captives.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has welcomed the cease-fire, and said the freed Taliban fighters should not return to the battlefield.