Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi Arabian journalist and critic of the country’s leadership, hasn’t been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on Oct. 2.
Turkish authorities say Khashoggi was abducted, tortured and murdered in the consulate that afternoon. Saudi officials have suggested it was an unauthorized “interrogation” of Khashoggi that went wrong and ended in his death.
Here is a timeline of what happened since Khashoggi went into the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.
Tuesday, Oct. 2
According to The Washington Post, here is how the events of Oct. 2 unfolded:
3:28 a.m. (local time): A private jet carrying men who Turkish authorities say are Saudi agents arrives at Istanbul airport.
5:05 a.m.: After showing passports and leaving the airport, the group is seen checking into two hotels near the Saudi consulate building.
12:13 p.m.: Dark vans, described as diplomatic vehicles by Turkish officials, are filmed arriving at the consulate. Turkey says the vans were carrying some of the group that arrived by private jet from Saudi Arabia.
1:14 p.m.: Khashoggi enters the building. He had returned to the consulate for a scheduled appointment after a visit there on Sept. 29. He was at the consulate to get papers pertaining to his divorce. He gives his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, two cell phones and tells her to use one to contact a Turkish official if he does not come out of the consulate.
3:08 p.m.: Vehicles leave the consulate and are seen on CCTV film arriving at the nearby Saudi consul's residence. The residence is about 200 yards from the consulate.
5:15 p.m.: A second private jet that Turkish officials say is carrying a number of suspected Saudi officials lands in Istanbul.
5:33 p.m.: Khashoggi's fiancée is seen on CCTV waiting outside the consulate. She eventually uses the cell phone to report Khashoggi missing.
6:20 p.m.: One of the private jets departs from the Istanbul airport.
10:46 p.m.: The second jet leaves the Istanbul airport.
Wednesday, Oct. 3
1 a.m.: Cengiz is seen on CCTV still waiting for Khashoggi outside the consulate. She returns to the consulate later on Wednesday to try to find Khashoggi. It was to be the couple’s wedding day.
By afternoon, Saudi officials confirm Khashoggi is missing but say he left the consulate building. There is no video footage of Khashoggi leaving the building. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman tells Bloomberg in an interview on Wednesday evening that Turkish investigators are free to search the consulate.
“We have nothing to hide,” he said.
Thursday, Oct. 4
Turkish officials call the Saudi ambassador to come to Ankara, the capital of the country, to discuss Khashoggi’s disappearance.
Friday, Oct. 5
The Saudis again say that Turkish officials have permission to search the consulate.
Saturday, Oct. 6
Turkish officials begin to say publicly that they believe Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. “The initial assessment of the Turkish police is that Mr Khashoggi has been killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul,” one Turkish official tells Reuters after the news agency is given a tour of the six-story consulate. “We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate.”
Sunday, Oct. 7
Turkish police say they have evidence that supports the claim that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, including airport records and video footage of boxes being loaded into a car. They say they believe a “murder squad” of 15 men arrived from Saudi Arabia to carry out the killing.
The Saudi ambassador to Turkey is summoned to Ankara, a second time in order to request Saudi Arabia’s permission to search the consulate and secure the country’s “full cooperation” in the investigation.
Tuesday, Oct. 9
Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi Arabian ambassador to the United States, denies that anything happened to Khashoggi in the consulate in Turkey. “I assure you that the reports that suggest that Jamal Khashoggi went missing in the consulate in Istanbul or that the Kingdom’s authorities have detained him or killed him are absolutely false and baseless,” he says.
A Turkish official says his country has proof that Khashoggi was detained, tortured, murdered and dismembered within two hours of his arrival at the embassy.
Sunday, Oct. 14
President Donald Trump is asked about Khashoggi’s disappearance. He says he would be “very upset and angry” if the Saudi authorities had anything to do with the disappearance. He tells Leslie Stahl in an interview that aired on “60 Minutes” that, “It’s being investigated, it’s being looked at very, very strongly. They (the Saudis) deny it – they deny it every way you can imagine. In the not too distant future, I think we’ll know the answer.”
Monday, Oct. 15
Turkey’s Foreign Ministry issues a statement that says an “inspection” of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul is set for Monday afternoon. Trump suggests “rogue killers” were responsible for Khashoggi’s disappearance. The Saudi government again denies it had anything to do with Khashoggi’s apparent murder.
“The king firmly denied any knowledge of it,” Trump told reporters. “It sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers. I mean, who knows? We’re going to try getting to the bottom of it very soon, but his was a flat denial.”
Later, published reports began to appear saying the Saudis were prepared to concede that Khashoggi had been killed in an interrogation gone wrong.
Tuesday, Oct. 16
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with Saudi Arabia's King Salman, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir on Tuesday. He said they all "strongly denied" any knowledge of what happened to Khashoggi inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
"We had direct and candid conversations. I emphasized the importance of conducting a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation, and the Saudi leadership pledged to deliver precisely on that."
Pompeo left Saudi Arabia to go to Turkey to talk with officials there about Khashoggi’s disappearance.
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