Dubai: Saudi Arabia has said that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has died, and said it fired two senior officials over the incident that has provoked an international outcry and strained relations between Riyadh and the West. A statement from the Saudi public prosecutor said a fight broke out between Khashoggi and people who met him in the consulate and led to his death.
The statement on state media said, the investigations are still underway and 18 Saudi nationals have been arrested in this context.
It said that royal court adviser Saud al-Qahtani and deputy intelligence Chief Ahmed Asiri have been sacked out.
The statement mentioned, expressed “deep regret at the painful outcome” and said it would bring the perpetrators “to justice by referring them to the competent courts in [the] Kingdom”.
President Donald Trumps Statement:
President Donald Trump said that Saudi Arabia’s government has taken a “great first step” in arresting people in the murder of a dissident Saudi journalist but he does not want to endanger the American alliance with the key Middle East ally.
“It’s not the simplest situation to be in,” Trump told reporters during a briefing at Luke Air Force Base in Arizona.
Speaking little more than three hours after Saudi authorities claimed that Jamal Khashoggi died during a “brawl” inside their consulate in Istanbul, Trump said he found their explanation credible, though more investigation is needed and he needs to learn more about the murder.
“Saudi Arabia has been a great ally, but what happened is unacceptable,” Trump said.
Ministeral Committee formed:
Saudi King Salman bin Abdulaziz has issued directives to set up a ministerial committee under the chairmanship of Crown Prince Muhammad Bin Salman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defence, to restructure the country’s intelligence agency.
According to Saudi official news agency, the directives were issued on the recommendations submitted by the Crown Prince to King Salman for the urgent need to restructure the General Intelligence Presidency and update its regulations.
The Saudi King also ordered to sack Deputy President of General Intelligence, Ahmed Bin Hassan Bin Muhammad Assiri and Advisor at the Royal Court, Saud Bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani from their posts besides terminating several other officers over Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi issue.