Two weeks after journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared post entering Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul, the Kingdom admitted on Saturday that he died.
A dissident journalist, Khashoggi, entered the Consulate on October 2 and wasn't seen since, pushing the Kingdom to one of its worst international crisis.
Earlier Saudi claimed he had left the building and the latest statement contradicts it, leaving them red-faced.
Saudi Attorney General Sheikh Saud al-Mojeb said Khashoggi died after 'discussions' inside the Consulate. Little is known about the whereabouts of his body.
In a statement, the Attorney General said Khashoggi got into a brawl and fist fight with those who met in the Consulate, which led to his death.
The White House was 'saddened' but didn't speak about action to be taken against its ally.
"We will continue to closely follow the international investigations into this tragic incident and advocate for justice that is timely, transparent and in accordance with all due process," Sarah Sanders, White House spokeswoman, said.
The Kingdom also informed Royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani and deputy intelligence chief Ahmad al-Asiri were sacked from their positions. Both are seen as close aides of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.
Apart from this, Saudi said it has arrested 18 officials.
US President Donald Trump said the arrests were a good 'first step' and maintained Saudi was a good ally.
New statement from the White House on Saudi Arabia acknowledging the death of Jamal Khashoggi pic.twitter.com/tAE17VFfNr— BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) October 19, 2018
Saudi's version of Khashoggi's death is in sharp contradiction to Turkey's take. Turkish officials told the New York Times, they have video evidence the dissident journalist was tortured before his death. They also claim Saudi agents dismembered his body.
A contributor for Washington Post, Khashoggi was a staunch critic of Salman and his quick rise to power in the Gulf nation.
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