Khashoggi case: A timeline

Here's a brief timeline of how Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared in Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul.

    Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. He has not been seen since [Petros Giannakouris/AP]
    Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2. He has not been seen since [Petros Giannakouris/AP]

    Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, a US resident and Washington Post columnist, has not been seen since entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

    Here's a timeline of his disappearance:

    June 2017

    Khashoggi leaves Saudi Arabia for Washington, DC, where he hopes to continue writing amid a crackdown on dissent in his native Saudi Arabia.

    "As we speak today, there [are] Saudi intellectuals and journalists. Now, nobody will dare to speak and criticise the reforms [initiated by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman]," the famed critic told Al Jazeera's UpFront in March.


    "Let's talk about something other than women driving. The NEOM project, the futuristic city that he [the crown prince] plans to invest half a trillion dollars in. What if it goes wrong? It could bankrupt the country." 

    May 2018

    The journalist meets Hatice Cengiz, a 36-year-old Turkish PhD student to whom he is soon engaged.      

    September 28           

    Khashoggi pays a first visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to obtain a document attesting he had divorced his ex-wife, a requirement under Turkish law, in order that he be able to marry Cengiz. 

    Cengiz described that first meeting as positive and said consulate staff had "welcomed him [Khashoggi] warmly and assured him that the necessary paperwork would come through".

    October 2

    Accompanied by Cengiz - who waited outside the consulate - Khashoggi is recorded by surveillance cameras entering the building at 13:14pm (10:14 GMT).

    Cengiz is instructed to contact Yasin Aktay, a close aide to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, in case anything goes wrong.

    Three hours pass before Cengiz asks consulate staff about Khashoggi, at which point she is told he had already left the building through the back door.  

    Wednesday, October 3 

    Saudi authorities issue a statement confirming Khashoggi's disappearance but insist he had left its building.

    "Mr Khashoggi visited the consulate to request paperwork related to his marital status and exited shortly thereafter," the statement read. 

    A spokesperson for the Turkish presidency, however, says that Khashoggi did not leave the consulate

    "According to information we have, this individual who is a Saudi national is still at the consulate as of now," Ibrahim Kalin said.

    Thursday, October 4

    Turkey's foreign ministry summoned Saudi Arabia's ambassador to Ankara over the disappearance of Khashoggi.

    The ambassador, however, denied knowing anything about Khashoggi's disappearance, adding that he would inform authorities once he obtained further information. 


    Friday, October 5 

    Mohammed bin Salman tells Bloomberg that Khashoggi is not inside the consulate, adding that he is not against a Turkish investigation taking place and searching the mission. 

    "My understanding is he entered and he got out after a few minutes or one hour. I'm not sure. We are investigating this through the foreign ministry to see exactly what happened at that time," the crown prince said. 

    Saturday, October 6 

    Reuters journalists tour the six-storey consulate in northern Istanbul where Khashoggi was last seen. 

    "I would like to confirm that ... Jamal is not at the consulate nor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the consulate and the embassy are working to search for him" consul-general Mohammad al-Otaibi told reporters at the consulate. "We are worried about his case." 

    Al-Otaibi says that while the consulate was equipped with cameras, these did not record any footage the day of Khashoggi's disappearance.

    A government source says Turkish police believe Khashoggi was murdered inside the consulate. 

    "Based on their initial findings, the police believe that the journalist was killed by a team especially sent to Istanbul and who left the same day," the source said.  

    Sunday, October 7

    Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan says he remains hopeful about the fate of Khashoggi amid reports that the critic may have been killed


    "I am following the [issue] and we will inform the world whatever the outcome [of the official probe]", Erdogan said.

    "God willing, we will not be faced with a situation we do not want. I still am hopeful," adding that "it is very, very upsetting for us that it happened in our country".

    Erdogan says video footage of the entrances to the consulate would be reviewed as well as the monitoring of all inbound and outbound flights. 

    Yasin Aktay, Erdogan's adviser, tells Reuters he believes Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate. 

    Aktay added that a 15-man hit squad was "most certainly involved" in the matter.

    Monday, October 8 

    Erdogan says the burden of proof falls on the Saudis. 

    "We have to get an outcome from this investigation as soon as possible. The consulate officials cannot save themselves by simply saying 'he has left'," Erdogan told a news conference in Budapest.

    US President Donald Trump says he is concerned about reports of Khashoggi's disappearance. 

    "I am concerned about it. I don't like hearing about it," Trump told reporters at the White House. "Hopefully that will sort itself out. Right now nobody knows anything about it."

    Tuesday, October 9

    The Washington Post - for whom Khashoggi wrote columns - reports that US intelligence had intercepted communications of Saudi officials planning to abduct the prominent journalist. 

    "Saudis wanted to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and lay hands on him there," the Post quoted a person familiar with the information as saying.

    The US Department of State says it wasn't tipped off about such an operation. 


    The United Kingdom issues its first statement on Khashoggi's disappearance and demands "urgent answers". 

    "Just met the Saudi ambassador to seek urgent answers over Jamal Khashoggi," British Foreign Minister Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter.

    The French foreign ministry also issues a statement on their website, saying it is closely following developments in Khashoggi's case.

    "France is concerned about the disappearance of Mr Jamal Khashoggi, a recognised and esteemed Saudi personality," the statement says. "We want his situation to be resolved as quickly as possible."

    Saudi Arabia agrees to let Turkish authorities search the consulate. 

    English-language state broadcaster TRT World says Turkish officials believe the Saudis may have taken the consulate's CCTV footage with them when they returned to the kingdom.

    Khashoggi case: Al the latest updates

    SOURCE: Al Jazeera News