Journalist's death: Sceptics see gaps in Saudi narrative

US President Donald Trump has joined European leaders in pushing Saudi Arabia for more answers about Jamal Khashoggi after Riyadh changed its story and acknowledged that the journalist died over two weeks ago at its consulate in Istanbul.
Protesters holding portraits of journalist and Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, on Oct 9, 2018.
Protesters holding portraits of journalist and Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration in front of the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul, on Oct 9, 2018.PHOTO: AFP

Saudi Arabia's explanation of how dissident journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in Istanbul has only added to the international uproar over the killing.

Sceptics are focused on apparent gaps in the Saudi narrative that Mr Khashoggi was strangled after a fist fight. Doubters questioned why it took 18 days for the royal Saudi court to admit knowledge of Mr Khashoggi's fate.

The Saudis also did not explain why Mr Khashoggi, 60, sought to resist in a fight against multiple Saudi security agents.

The Saudis say the mission was carried out without the awareness of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. But the account failed to explain the apparent connections of at least four suspects to the Prince's security detail.

The Saudis also offered no explanation for why a doctor specialising in autopsies was sent on the mission, not someone who treats live patients or manages forensic evidence. US President Donald Trump said yesterday: "Obviously there's been deception and there's been lies."

SEE TOP OF THE NEWS: Saudi account of Khashoggi's death widely challenged

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 22, 2018, with the headline 'Journalist's death: Sceptics see gaps in Saudi narrative'. Print Edition | Subscribe