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A timeline of Khashoggi's murder

November 10, 2018

Every day reveals further details of the apparent state-sanctioned murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi. Here is how events unfolded.

People hold photos of Jamal Khashoggi at a demonstration in front of Saudi Arabia's Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey
Image: picture-alliance/AA/M. E. Yildirim

More than a month after the murder of well-known Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, no clear explanations have been given by Saudi Arabia with regards to his death.

With conflicting reports emerging of rogue operations and deadly fistfights, it is still uncertain whether the journalist's killers will be prosecuted.

DW has put together a timeline of the most important facts in this intricate case:

October 2: Khashoggi enters the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, to obtain official documents ahead of his wedding. He had left his mobile phones with his Turkish fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who waited for him outside. Hours later, when Khashoggi didn't emerge from the embassy, she called friends to tell them what had happened.

October 3: In an interview with Bloomberg, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman says Khashoggi had left the consulate "a few minutes or an hour" after he arrived. In the meantime, Turkish authorities say police have established that Khashoggi is still inside the Consulate.

October 6: Turkish officials say Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. The Washington Post also cites a US official who claims the journalist's body was likely dismembered and flown out of the country.

October 15: Turkish investigators are allowed to enter the consulate to conduct a search and hunt for evidence in the journalist's disappearance.

October 18: US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says he will not attend an important investment event in the Saudi capital Riyadh, following similar announcements from prominent political and business figures around the world.

October 19: Saudi Arabia finally admits that Khashoggi died in the consulate. The country's public prosecutor says preliminary investigations show the journalist died after "altercation" and a "fistfight." He adds that 18 people have been detained.  A Saudi Foreign Ministry official states the country is "investigating the regrettable and painful incident."

October 20: The next day, Germany's Chancellor Angela Merkel and other world leaders say Saudi Arabia's acknowledgment of Khashoggi's death is unsatisfactory. Merkel also announces there will be no further weapon exports to Saudi Arabia until the case had been solved.

October 21: In an interview, Saudi Arabia's Foreign Minister provides yet another version of what happened to the journalist, saying he was killed in a "rogue operation" inside the consulate.

October 25: Saud al-Mojeb, Saudi Arabia's Attorney General, says evidence shows that Khashoggi's murder was premeditated, based on information provided from Turkish counterparts.

October 31: In the first public confirmation of such reports, the Turkish prosecutor says Khashoggi was strangled after he first entered the consulate, then dismembered.

November 2: Turkey's President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says the order to murder the journalist came from "the highest levels" of Saudi Arabia's government. A Turkish official claimed that Khashoggi's body was dissolved in acid.

November 5: Saudi Arabia tells the United Nations it will prosecute those responsible for Khashoggi's murder. This comes as the United States condemns the journalist's killing in front of the UN Human Rights Council and calls for a transparent investigation.

November 8: Khashoggi's fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, writes on Twitter that she is "unable to express her sorrow" upon learning that the journalist's body was dissolved with chemicals. "Are these killers and those behind it human beings?" she wrote. In a comment to the press, Cengiz said she had not received official confirmation of reports that her fiancée body has been dissolved.

November 11: Erdogan says that Turkey had let Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, France and Britain listen to tape recordings purported have been taken before and during Khashoggi's killing. The recordings from inside the consulate indicate the murder was premeditated, according to Turkish officials.