The Saudi Arabian government is preparing to release a report that acknowledges they did, in fact, kill Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi in a consulate in Istanbul, Turkey on October 2 during an interrogation gone wrong, according to CNN.
Two sources told CNN the report is likely to reveal that the operation was authorized without clearance from the kingdom’s officials and affirms that those involved will be held responsible for their actions. One of the two sources warned that the report has yet to be finalized, however, so it’s possible that things may change before its official release.
Before this report, the Saudi government had vocally refuted any claims of wrongdoing, insisting that Khashoggi had left the consulate that afternoon unharmed, which caused major political ripples all over the world. The kingdom’s stock market took a big hit, falling as much as 7 percent on Sunday.
England, France, and Germany have all demanded a “credible investigation” into the disappearance and, as CNN previously reported, President Trump warned of serious retribution if the Saudis were found to be involved with the death. International firms pulled out of high-profile summits and even the WWE is considering canceling an upcoming multi-million dollar event, as reported by the Inquisitr, both set to take place in Riyadh.
On Friday, a CNN source said that Turkish authorities have audio and visual proof that Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate. On top of that, CNN reporters saw Turkish investigators, alongside forensics officials, enter the Saudi consulate on Monday evening. The premises were reportedly searched and police were seen preventing others from entering a particular area within the consulate itself.
Despite the relatively convincing amount of evidence against Saudi Arabia, President Trump has been slow to condemn them. On Monday, he suggested that a team of “rogue killers” with no links to the Saudi government might be responsible for the assassination. The president also told reporters that Saudi Arabia’s King Salman offered him a “flat denial” about any involvement with Khashoggi’s murder.
“It wasn’t like there was a question in his mind. The denial was very strong,” Trump said of King Salman.
“With that being said, the king firmly denied any knowledge of it. He didn’t really know — maybe — I don’t want to get into his mind but it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers, who knows.”
“We are going to try to get to the bottom of it very soon. But his was a flat denial,” the president continued.
Saudi officials threatened to retaliate if the US imposed sanctions, but Riyadh later walked back those comments.