Oxford murder investigation: 9 arrested after man found dead in city centre – Economic Times

Jamal Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, was murdered inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in October 2018, and a number of top Saudi officials were arrested in connection with the case. Khashoggi was especially very critical of the Saudi crown prince Mohammed bin Salman. Khashoggi, a US resident who wrote for The Washington Post, was lured to Istanbul’s Saudi consulate in October 2018, then killed and cut into pieces.

According to the declassified report of US’ Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI), Rapid Intervention Force or RIF which defends the crown prince” and “answers only to him” carried out the killing. As per the report, the team carried out dozens of operations both inside the kingdom and beyond — including forcibly repatriating Saudis from other Arab countries. The group also appears to have been involved in the detention and abuse of prominent women’s rights activists who had campaigned for lifting the kingdom’s ban on women driving.

A veteran Saudi journalist who had gone into self-exile, Khashoggi was told by Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States to go to the kingdom’s Istanbul consulate if he wanted to obtain documents for his forthcoming marriage to a Turkish woman, Hatice Cengiz. Within minutes of entering the building on October 2, 2018, the 59-year-old was strangled and his body dismembered by a 15-member team allegedly sent from Riyadh under the direction of a top aide to Prince Mohammed, Saud al-Qahtani. The intelligence report said seven of the 15 Saudis came from the Rapid Intervention Force, which it said had earlier acted to suppress dissent in the kingdom and abroad.

ODNI released the report on Friday. The report said that given Prince Mohammed’s influence, it was “highly unlikely” that the 2018 murder could have taken place without his green light. The killing also fit a pattern of “the crown prince’s support for using violent measures to silence dissidents abroad.”

The Saudi foreign ministry in a statement denounced the “negative, false and unacceptable assessment” and rejected “any measure that infringes upon its leadership.” The Saudi government, which initially said it had no information on Khashoggi, says it accepts responsibility for the killing but casts it as a rogue operation that did not involve the prince.