Khashoggi’s final public appearance: Journalist attended London conference days before he was killed where he criticised Saudi Arabia for ‘subduing’ its people
- Video shows Jamal Khashoggi’s final public appearance at London conference
- Spoke at event marking 25 years since Oslo Israel-Palestine accords
- While at the London event he criticised Saudi Arabia for ‘subduing’ its people
- Attended conference on September 29, flew out of London on October 1st
- Saudi journalist was last seen alive entering Saudi consulate on October 2nd
This is believed to be Jamal Khashoggi’s final public appearance, just three days before he was brutally murdered at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and true to form the dissident writer criticised the regime of his home country.
The Saudi journalist was speaking at a conference in London on September 29, held to mark 25 years since the signing of the first Oslo Peace Accords between Israel and the Palestinian leadership in 1993.
During an interview with BBC’s Newshour while at the conference, the 59-year-old journalist said even though the event was about the Middle East, the event was unlikely to be repeated there.
Speaking at the conference about Israeli-Palestine peace treaties, Khashoggi said that even though the event was about the Middle East, it was unlikely to be repeated there
‘An event like that would be difficult to hold today in the Arab world because we are retreating from freedom in most of the Arab countries,’ Mr Khashoggi said.
‘Most of the Arab world is currently collapsing, for example in Libya, Syria and Yemen and has no interest in discussing Palestine because they have miseries of their own.
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‘Then in countries like Saudi Arabia, my country, or in Egypt, they have no interest in those kinds of issues that motivate and rally the people because they want to subdue them instead.’
Two days after the conference, on Monday October 1st, he flew from London to Istanbul, where he lived part-time with his Turkish fiancee.
Mr Khashoggi was last seen alive on October 2, entering his country’s consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for their upcoming wedding.
In an explosive speech, Recep Tayyip Erdogan said there were strong signs a Saudi team plotted to kill the dissident journalist days before his death on October 2
It comes as scepticism intensified about Saudi Arabia’s account that Khashoggi (pictured) died accidentally in its consulate in Istanbul
A tough critic of the Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Khashoggi, disappeared after he entered the Saudi consulate (pictured) in Istanbul on October 2 to collect a document for his upcoming marriage
The footage of his final public speaking engagement has emerged as Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said Khashoggi’s ‘savage’ murder was planned by an 18-member Saudi hit squad.
The 64-year-old described it as a ‘political murder’ but stopped short of directly blaming Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – the effective ruler of the kingdom – instead demanding to know ‘who gave the orders’ for the operation.
Saudi officials including ‘intelligence, security and forensic personnel’ were seen entering the building where Khashoggi disappeared, Erdogan said, while some were seen exploring a nearby forest beforehand.
The revelation will fuel speculation the team was scouting an area where they could potentially ditch a body.
Despite several reports of parts of Mr Khashoggi’s body being discovered in the grounds of the consulate and the Saudi Consul’s residence, Erdogan suggested in his speech that a corpse had not yet been discovered and called on Saudi Arabia to reveal its location.
Erdogan called for 18 people arrested in Saudi Arabia to be tried in Istanbul, but said blaming some intelligence members for the killing will not satisfy Turkey ‘or the international community’.
Erdogan’s speech was previously pitched as revealing the ‘naked truth’ about Khashoggi’s slaying. Instead it served merely to put a named source to information already circulated by anonymous officials.
The murder of Jamal Khashoggi: Key moments surrounding the writer’s disappearance and death
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who wrote critically of the kingdom’s policies and Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, was killed in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul earlier this month. Turkish officials say a 15-men team tortured, killed and dismembered the writer, while Saudi Arabia says he died in a ‘fistfight.’
Here are some key moments in the slaying of the Washington Post columnist:
BEFORE HIS DISAPPEARANCE
September 2017: The Post publishes the first column by Khashoggi in its newspaper, in which the former royal court insider and longtime journalist writes about going into a self-imposed exile in the U.S. over the rise of Prince Mohammed. His following columns criticize the prince and the kingdom’s direction.
September 28, 2018: Over a year after the Post published his first column, Khashoggi visits the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, seeking documents in order to get married. He’s later told to return October 2, his fiancee Hatice Cengiz says. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says a plan or a ‘road map’ to kill Khashoggi was devised in Saudi Arabia during this time.
September 29: Khashoggi travels to London and speaks at a conference.
October 1: Khashoggi returns to Istanbul. At around 4.30pm, a three-person Saudi team arrives in Istanbul on a scheduled flight, checks in to their hotels then visits the consulate, according to Erdogan. The Turkish president says another group of officials from the consulate travel to a forest in Istanbul’s outskirts and to the nearby city of Yalova on a ‘reconnaissance’ trip.
Jamal Khashoggi (right) arriving at the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul on October 2. He has not been seen since and Turkey has accused Saudi agents of murdering him
THE DAY OF HIS DISAPPEARANCE
3.28am, October 2: A private jet arrives at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport carrying some members of what Turkish media will refer to as a 15-member Saudi ‘assassination squad.’ Other members of the team arrive by two commercial flights in the afternoon. Erdogan says the team includes Saudi security and intelligence officials and a forensics expert. They meet at the Saudi Consulate. One of the first things they do is to dismantle a hard disk connected to the consulate’s camera system, the president says.
11.50am: Khashoggi is called to confirm his appointment at the consulate later that day, Erdogan says.
1.14pm: Surveillance footage later leaked to Turkish media shows Khashoggi walking into the main entrance of the Saudi Consulate. No footage made public ever shows him leaving. His fiancee waits outside, pacing for hours.
3.07pm: Surveillance footage shows vehicles with diplomatic license plates leaving the Saudi Consulate for the consul general’s home some 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) away.
5.50pm: Khashoggi’s fiancee alerts authorities, saying he may have been forcibly detained inside the consulate or that something bad may have happened to him, according to Erdogan.
7pm: A private plane from Saudi Arabia carries six members of the alleged Saudi squad from Istanbul to Cairo, the next day returning to Riyadh.
11pm: Seven members of the alleged Saudi squad leave on another private jet to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which the next day returns to Riyadh. Two others leave by commercial flights.
Erdogan confirms reports that a ‘body double’ – a man wearing Khashoggi’s clothes, glasses and a beard – leaves the consulate building for Riyadh with another person on a scheduled flight later that day.
CCTV images showed a a private jet alleged to have been used by a group of Saudi men suspected of being involved in Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi’s death
October 3: Khashoggi’s fiancee and the Post go public with his disappearance. Saudi Arabia says Khashoggi visited the consulate and exited shortly thereafter. Turkish officials suggest Khashoggi might still be in the consulate. Prince Mohammed tells Bloomberg: ‘We have nothing to hide.’
October 4: Saudi Arabia says on its state-run news agency that the consulate is carrying out ‘follow-up procedures and coordination with the Turkish local authorities to uncover the circumstances of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi after he left the consulate building.’
October 5: The Post prints a blank column in its newspaper in solidarity with Khashoggi, headlined: ‘A missing voice.’
October 6: The Post, citing anonymous Turkish officials, reports Khashoggi may have been killed in the consulate in a ‘preplanned murder’ by a Saudi team.
October 7: A friend of Khashoggi tells the AP that officials told him the writer was killed at the consulate. The consulate rejects what it calls ‘baseless allegations.’
October 8: Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Turkey is summoned over Khashoggi’s disappearance and alleged killing.
October 9: Turkey says it will search the Saudi Consulate as a picture of Khashoggi walking into the diplomatic post surfaces.
October 10: Surveillance footage is leaked of Khashoggi and the alleged Saudi squad that killed him. Khashoggi’s fiancee asks President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump for help.
October 11: Turkish media describes Saudi squad as including royal guards, intelligence officers, soldiers and an autopsy expert. Trump calls Khashoggi’s disappearance a ‘bad situation’ and promises to get to the bottom of it.
October 12: Trump again pledges to find out what happened to Khashoggi.
October 13: A pro-government newspaper reports that Turkish officials have an audio recording of Khashoggi’s alleged killing from his Apple Watch, but details in the report come into question.
October 14: Trump says that ‘we’re going to get to the bottom of it, and there will be severe punishment’ if Saudi Arabia is involved. The kingdom responds with a blistering attack against those who threaten it, as the manager of a Saudi-owned satellite news channel suggests the country could retaliate through its oil exports. The Saudi stock exchange plunges as much as 7 percent at one point.
October 15: A Turkish forensics team enters and searches the Saudi Consulate, an extraordinary development as such diplomatic posts are considered sovereign soil. Trump suggests after a call with Saudi King Salman that ‘rogue killers’ could be responsible for Khashoggi’s alleged slaying. Trump says Secretary of State Mike Pompeo will travel to the Mideast over the case. Meanwhile, business leaders say they won’t attend an economic summit in the kingdom that’s the brainchild of Prince Mohammed.
October 16: A high-level Turkish official tells the AP that ‘certain evidence’ was found in the Saudi Consulate proving Khashoggi was killed there. Pompeo arrives for meetings in Saudi Arabia with King Salman and Prince Mohammed. Meanwhile, Trump compares the case to the appointment of now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during his confirmation hearing, saying: ‘Here we go again with you’re guilty until proven innocent.’
October 17: Pompeo meets with Turkey’s president and foreign minister in the Turkish capital, Ankara. Turkish police search the official residence of Saudi Arabia’s consul general in Istanbul and conduct a second sweep of the consulate.
October 18: A leaked surveillance photograph shows a member of Prince Mohammed’s entourage walked into the consulate just before Khashoggi vanished there.
October 20: Saudi Arabia for the first time acknowledges Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, claiming he was slain in a ‘fistfight.’ The claim draws immediate skepticism from the kingdom’s Western allies, particularly in the U.S. Congress.
October 22: A report says a member of Prince Mohammed’s entourage made four calls to the royal’s office around the time Khashoggi was killed. Police search a vehicle belonging to the Saudi consulate parked at an underground garage in Istanbul.
October 23: Erdogan says Saudi officials murdered Khashoggi after plotting his death for days, demanding that Saudi Arabia reveal the identities of all involved.
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