Jamal Khashoggi: A death scar unto the Saudi Kingdom
12. November 2018 at 09:17
The death of Jamal Khashoggi no doubt will forever remain a big scar unto the face of the Saudi Arabia authority who in recent past have continued to shy away from the truthfulness surrounding the gruesome murder of the Washington Post columnist. Most especially shocking, is the perceived complicity of the Kingdom most top hierarchy as it involve the death of Jamal Khashoggi. Nothing short of justice will exonerate this perceived complicity most especially in the eyes of the international community.It was exactly 13:14 PM local time precisely on Oct.2, 2018 when he entered the Saudi-Arabia consulate in Istanbul (Turkey). Suddenly, at the middle of nowhere he disappeared into thin air leaving both his soon-to-be fiancée and the consulate security camera's all in wonderment and apparent shock. Just like an Hollywood action thriller, his assailant had it all mapped out even before he stepped into the consulate building. Indeed, it was a Steven Seagal kind of act.
From disappearance to death, the outright murder of Jamal Khashoggi pose a serious question mark on the moral structure and sanctity both on the Saudi- Arabian authority and that of her crown prince-Mohammad bin Salman:
He is the second most distinguish personality in the Kingdom, holding one of the highest and most influential office in Saudi- Arabia after King Salman. Popularly referred to as Mbs, he is the crown prince of Saudi- Arabia serving as the country's deputy Prime minister. Described as been a front man and the brain-power behind the throne, he is largely regarded and seen through the eyes of many world leaders as a young reformer per excellence. Prominent among his many reforms was the historic removal of the ban on female drivers which has been in existence for over many decades.
Though, he has been at knife edge with a handful of activists, still, his popularity continues to outweighs his blind-spots. All this he has enjoyed in recent times up until Oct 2, when his internationally acclaimed honeymoon crashed abruptly on a geometric scale. Indeed, it was great fall in the eyes of world leaders who had pegged him an internal rock star of the Saudi Kingdom prior to the sudden but gruesome murder of Jamal Khashoggi right at the heart of the Saudi-Arabia consulate in Turkey.
Khashoggi was a Saudi Journalist for the Washington post, a former general manager and one time editor-in-chief of Al-Arab News Channel. Considered by the Kingdom as a dissident, Khashoggi was an avid critic of the Saudi- Arabia inner authority circle with a close view focus on the leadership pattern of the Saudi crown prince. He left the kingdom on a self imposed exile for the United states in 2017 where he became a legal citizen up until his painful exit.
His articles and write-ups were basic narrative of the Arab world as he wittingly and most frequently dissects the Saudi-led structure as a case view unto the rest of the Arab nations. He was an optimist who shared the Utopian narrative of the Arab world, but then, understood it differently on a dynamic scale of fact-checked reality.
A noble Saudi citizen who took it upon himself both as a cause and a call of duty to changing the status quo of institutional decay and leadership failure not just in Saudi Arabia also all through the majority of the Arab nations through intellectual revolution and global activism.
In one of his very recent article for the Washington Post prior to his death, a calculated Khashoggi highlighted thus;
"There are a few oases that continue to embody the spirit of the Arab Spring. Qatar’s government continues to support international news coverage, in contrast to its neighbors’ efforts to uphold the control of information to support the “old Arab order.” Even in Tunisia and Kuwait, where the press is considered at least “partly free,” the media focuses on domestic issues but not issues faced by the greater Arab world. They are hesitant to provide a platform for journalists from Saudi Arabia, Egypt and Yemen. Even Lebanon, the Arab world’s crown jewel when it comes to press freedom, has fallen victim to the polarization and influence of pro-Iran Hezbollah.
The Arab world is facing it own version of iron curtain, imposed through domestic forces vying for power. During the cold war, Radio Europe which grew over the years into a critical institution played an important role in fostering and sustaining the hope of freedom. Arabs need something similar" Published October 17 by Karen Attiah, Global Opinions editor.
Events leading to his death:
According to Live footage's and CCTV Camera's Khashoggi entered the Consulate Tuesday at exactly 13:14 Local time where he is billed to commence paper work documentation in furtherance of his marriage procedures to longtime Turkish fiancée, a 36-year-old PhD candidate at a university in Istanbul Hatice Cengiz. Ms Cengiz who waited outside the consul building called the police after she realized her soon-to-be groom didn't show up even after the close hour of the consulate which happens by 5pm. Indeed, this was how the story began as events unfolds both in shock, pain, and shreds.
Following the sudden disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, the global community turned their search light to the Saudi Arabian authority for immediate clarity and follow-up, seeking for the truth surrounding this unholy death. In a quick bid to extricating the Kingdom from possible complicity, the Saudi crown prince while reacting to the disappearance on Oct 3,told Bloomberg News that Jamal Khashoggi left the building minutes later through a rare alley. An account not even strategic placed camera could attest to according to Turkish authorities. Bin Salman whose speech to Bloomberg was obviously scripted hinted thus, " Our government is very keen to know what had happened. We have nothing to hide". Again, in an attempt to insulate the kingdom, Prince Khaled bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the US, claimed all reports about Khashoggi disappearance were completely "False and baseless.
On Oct 4, the Turkish authorities invited the Saudi ambassador regarding the shock disappearance of the Washington post columnist. However, on twitter of same day, the Saudi consulate in Istanbul continues their ghost chase of Jamal Khashoggi "after he must have left the building" apparently in their widest imagination.
While the global pressure continue to mount, the Saudi authority still sticking to a carefully scripted show on Oct 6,says it has dispatched some team both to cooperate and collectively investigate the Khashoggi case whom they believed must have left the building (Pejoratively).
Turkish officials after series of investigations and on the spot analysis on Oct 7, hinted Jamal Khashoggi must have been killed within the confines of the consulate. A confirmation the Saudi authority will later argue referring same as baseless.
The Turkish government finally searched the consulate on Oct 9.
Insisting religiously on their story of make believe, the Saudi interior minister says claims awash in the media alleging "orders to kill Khashoggi" are as "baseless" to the extent of this allegations. Similarly, the Turkish officials having searched the consulate came to an avid conclusion on Oct 13, that the journalist was killed and painfully dismembered inside the consulate building.
Dissatisfied with the Turkish search, the Saudi authorities through her foreign ministry on Oct 14, renews calls allowing own investigators conduct a forensic procedure within the consulate building.
Again, Turkish officials conduct another round of search within the building on Oct 15.
Still refuting claims about the possible death of Jamal Khashoggi, a Saudi controlled satellite News on Oct 15,noted clearly that a 15-member team of Saudi citizens been referred to as "hit men" were indeed fine tourists visiting Turkey. It should be recalled that the Turkish officials hinted a 15- man squad who was acting on instructions believed to have come from the Kingdom.According to the Turkish authorities, these men murdered Jamal Khashoggi inside the consulate and thereafter dismembered his body into parts.
A Saudi consul was seen leaving the consulate building in Istanbul to Saudi-Arabia on Oct 16.
Turkish officials turned their search light to the Saudi Consul General Mohammed Al-Otaibi on Oct 17. According to alleged reports, Otaibi was heard on tape giving strict warning to the alleged agents;" Do this outside, You are going to get me in trouble." he said.
Finally it happened from the blue. After series of denial and flip flops script play, the Saudi authority through a public prosecutor on Saturday, Oct,19 shamefully announced the death of Jamal Khashoggi. According to him, preliminary investigations show "altercation' and fistfight" resulting in the death of Jamal Khashoggi inside the building shortly after he arrived.
Indeed, this was the nail that eventually sealed the coffin of script play.
In a related developments, Crown prince Salman ate the humble pie after weeks of scripted rhetoric's denying the fact that the Journalist was actually murdered in the Saudi Consulate. While expressing his displeasure, the authority confirms that the death of Khashoggi was premeditated.
The UN through her Secretary General Antonio Guterres expresses deep concern over the news confirming the validity of Khashoggi's death. According to him, all measures should be on ground to seeing that justice is served.
“The Secretary-General stresses the need for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi’s death and full accountability for those responsible"
On Oct 31, the Turkish authorities through her city chief prosecutor issued her very first official statement since the death of the Washington Post Journalist.
"In accordance with plans made in advance, the victim, Jamal Khashoggi, was choked to death immediately after entering the Consulate General of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul on October 2, 2018, for marriage formalities," the statement said.
"The victim's body was dismembered and destroyed following his death by suffocation - again, in line with advance plans," it added.
Eighteen suspects have since been identified as possible links connecting to the murder of the Journalist. These suspect who holds a Saudi citizenship now in custody of the Saudi Arabia authority has since been requested by the government in Ankara for a possible extradition and immediate trial in Turkey.
No doubt, there has been serious tension ranging between the authority in Riyadh and that of the government in Ankara since the brutal murder of Jamal Khashoggi whose demise has since sparked an international outcry calling for justice to be melted on those responsible.
The office of the city chief prosecutor hinted a non compliant gestures on the side of the Saudi Arabia authority who through her public prosecutor didn't produce any substantial result despite a three day meeting with the authority in Ankara.
"Despite our well-intentioned efforts to reveal the truth, no concrete results have come out of those meetings," the office said hours after the Saudi prosecutor left Istanbul.
Obviously, it is glaringly clear where the Saudi authorities stands in this whole investigative approach in bringing justice to the murder of Jamal Khashoggi whom they previously claimed left the consulate building moments after he entered.
Reacting to this uncooperative approach by the Saudi led authority in Riyadh, Yasin Aktay described the meeting with the Saudi Arabia public prosecutor as disappointing.
"Saudi officials seem like they have come to Istanbul to be able to obtain the information Turkey has on the murder, rather than mutual sharing of information on the case.
"It is obvious that these suspects did not act on their own. Therefore, a political will, whoever it is, that can order a murder in a foreign country, can easily influence the courts in Saudi Arabia as well," Aktay said.
My Take:Truth be said, the Saudi Arabia authorities are reluctant to give-in on the real deal surrounding the gruesome murder of Jamal Khashoggi whose murder was indeed a senseless approach to fixing the real issue surrounding both the Arab world and the apparent leadership of crown prince Salman.
To have claimed the Journalist died as a result of "altercation' and fistfight" inside the building is to insult the collective cerebral standing of the international community. Even if it was an interrogation gone bad, the script still would not follow pattern.The questions are evidently telling on a possible complicity from a very high authority whose instructions whoever murdered the journalist was indeed acting upon.
Khashoggi was murdered in cold blood and there is no fixing stupid about what must have transpired. Justice must be served as anything short of pinning down the culprits raises a big question mark on the integrity of the Kingdom which indeed is already been battered following the death of Jamal Khashoggi.
It is to this end i call on the united states alongside all western nations not to let loose on this issue surrounding the painful demise of a journalist whose only crime was to speak the truth and stand up tall against constituted authorities challenging bad leadership style. All hands must be on deck to seeing that those responsible are served justice. The Turkish government must assisted in every capacity to seeing through the success of this case. Both the United Nations and her sister agencies must fight tooth and nail to seeing through that nothing other than justice begets the endpoint of this case.
If this is a norm in Saudi Arabia, then, the death of Mr Khashoggi should be used as a deterrent in apparent pursuit to those who feel above the law, code, and conduct of international best practices.
Besides, justice is sweetest when served cold. Indeed, the death of Jamal Khashoggi, will forever remain a scar unto the face of the Saudi Kingdom.