Friday 26 October 2018


Journalists are being murdered in many countries around the world. That shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone. And it shouldn’t be a surprise that a Saudi Arabian columnist was risking his life when he was working for the Washington Post as a columnist. He also served as editor for the Saudi Arabian newspaper Al Watan, turning it into a platform for Saudi Arabian progressives who believed that the citizens should be more involved in political matters. Due to its authoritarian and quasi-theocratic rule, the House of Saud has attracted much criticism during its rule of Saudi ArabiaThe Washington Post columnist was churning out column after column on Saudi Arabia's "reckless" Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, even Saudi Arabia's spat with Canada  often in English and in Arabic. He was also hitting a nerve, striking at the crown prince's reputation and image and pushing buttons on extremism, women's rights and freedom of expression with  his commentary reaching into the Saudi kingdom where social media use is among the highest in the world. In return, he was treated to what appeared to be an organized onslaught of online abuse from trolls loyal to the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia.

The journalist’s name was Jamal Khashoggi. He was born on the 13th of October 1958 and murdered on the 2nd of October 2018—exactly 59 years and one week later.  He was murdered by Saudi Arabian agents.

As to be expected, the Royal family in Saudi Arabia deny that they had anything whatsoever to do with his murder. I am convinced that the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia ordered Khashoggi’s death with his father, the king’s approval.

The succession to the Saudi Arabian throne was designed to pass from one son of the first king, Ibn Saud, to another. The next in line, Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, is the son of King Salman. The king-appointed cabinet includes more members of the royal family. The monarchy was hereditary by agnatic seniority until 2006, when a royal decree provided that future Saudi kings are to be elected by a committee of Saudi princes.

The head of the House of Saud is the King of Saudi Arabia who serves as Head of State and monarch of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. The King holds almost absolute political power. The King appoints ministers to his cabinet who supervise their respective ministries in his name. The key ministries of Defence, the Interior, and Foreign Affairs are usually held by members of the Saud family, as are most of the thirteen regional governorships. Most portfolios, however, such as Finance, Labor, Information, Planning, Petroleum Affairs and Industry, have traditionally been given to commoners, often with junior Al Saud members serving as their deputies. House of Saud family members also hold many of the Kingdom's critical military and governmental departmental posts. Ultimate power in the Kingdom has always rested upon the Al Saud, though support from the Ulema, the merchant community, and the population at large has been key to the maintenance of the royal family's political status quo.
Mohammad bin Salman bin Abdulaziz Al Saud is the Crown Prince. This means that he is in line to be the next king of Saudi Arabia when his father dies. He is serving as the country's deputy prime minister (the title of prime minister being held by the king) and is also chairman of the Council for Economic and Development Affairs, chairman of the Council of Political and Security Affairs, and minister of defense.  He has been described as the power behind the throne of his father, King Salman, who suffers from Alzheimer's disease. His son was appointed crown prince in June 2017 following King Salman’s decision to remove Muhammad bin Nayef from all positions, making Mohammad bin Salman  the heir apparent to the throne.
As I see it, I believe that the Crown Prince decided to get rid of Khashoggi and convinced his father that Khashoggi was a menace to the kingdom because of his criticism of those ruling Saudi Arabia.  I suspect that his father was easy to convince since his mind is ravaged by his disabling Alzheimer's disease. Of course, both the King and the Crown Prince deny ordering the death of Khashoggi.

Before I go any further into this murder mystery, I will tell you how murder mysteries are solved. I can honestly say that I am an expert on this subject. I spent 15 years of my life as an investigator and worked on over two hundred cases and some of them were murder cases. I solved most of the cases I was asked to solve.

An investigator should look upon a murder mystery as a locked vault in which the investigator has to find the key that will open the vault. I will tell you about two murder mysteries I was asked to solve in which I found the keys to the two vaults.

In 1964 when Canada’s first Legal Aid was created in Toronto, it comprised of three people. The director, his secretary and me. My job was to investigate the criminal cases that the volunteer lawyers were taking on.

The first case I was asked to investigate was about a young man who was serving a life sentence for murdering his mother. I went to the boarding house where he and his mother had lived and as luck would have it, the room where the murder was committed, had been locked and never rented out again.

The foot of the bed had been pulled from the wall and that got me wondering why it was pulled from the wall. That was the first key that helped me open the vault.

A right handed man wouldn’t have pulled the foot of the bed from the wall in order to strike the woman’s head with the broken table leg but a left handed man would. The woman’s son was a right handed man.  The witness who testified against him and who was also a roomer in the house was a left handed man. Now I had to prove my theory.

A short distance from the foot of the bed was a pillar right next to the wall. If a right handed man had struck the woman and swung the table leg backwards, it would only reach the pillar. But a left handed man when swinging the table leg upwards and behind him, the water drops would go behind the pillar.

I poured water on the blood-stained pillow and hit it with a large stick and when I swung the stick backwards with my left hand,  the water went around the pillar and onto the wall behind the pillar.

On that wall were very minute specks of blood. That was the final key that opened the vault. The man serving life was set free and the left handed man was arrested but he died before his trial.

In the next case I was given to solve was about a man who lived in a small apartment on the second floor of a building on a busy street in Toronto. A prostitute whom he knew asked him if she could spend the night in his apartment. He agreed and told her that because the buzzer to the downstairs door didn’t work, she should climb the fire escape at the rear of the building and walk across the roof of the shed next to the fire escape and then knock on the kitchen window and he would open the window and she could climb into the kitchen through the opening.  

While waiting for her to arrive, he began drinking beer and by one  in the morning, he was very drunk so when he heard the knocking on the kitchen window, he entered  his kitchen and  saw the black image of someone at the window who was silhouetted against the reflection of a street light against a white building at the end of the dead-end lane that ran alongside of his building.

He forgot that it was the prostitute who was to be at the window. He thought it was a burglar so he opened the window and grabbed the woman by the neck and choked her to death. When he realized who it was, he dragged her through the opening and into his living room and tried to revive her to no avail. He then called the police and told them what had happened. They didn’t believe him. They accused him of murdering the woman in his living room and arrested him and charged him with capital murder. It was a hanging offence.

His lawyer contacted me and asked me to investigate the case. I interviewed the man in the Toronto jail and he told me his story and said that there was a man in the dead-end lane who saw what happened at the kitchen window and yelled “What’s going on up there?”  He asked me to find that man so he can testify what he saw when he was in the lane.

In 1964, there was a little over a million people living in Toronto that year. I had no idea who that man would be and yet, I actually found the man two days later. I figured that anyone walking in a dead end lane at one in the morning is there for one purpose and that is to take a pee. Now I had to find the man who entered the lane to take a pee.

There was a tavern around the corner so I figured that the man had been in the tavern that night. I made enquiries the next day and spoke with a man in the tavern who told me that he and the man I was looking for were on their way home and his friend had to take a pee and entered the lane to take a pee. That man’s street name was Moose and I found him in the Toronto Jail. He gave me his written statement and the lawyer gave the statement to the police. Meanwhile, the dead woman’s fingerprints and palm print were still on the fire escape. This new evidence established his alibi and the capital murder charge was withdrawn and replaced with a manslaughter charge. He was sentenced to five years in prison and was released after serving four years.

It was unfortunate that in both cases, the police bungled their investigations and chose to do nothing to determine the truth of the accused’s allegations. In both case, I found the keys to the two vaults and what was discovered in the vaults changed the lives of these two men who were charged with varying charges of murder.

I would be amiss if I didn’t also mention that my success in these two investigations couldn’t have come about if it wasn’t for the fact that pure luck was the primary reason why I was successful in those two cases.

For example, if the bed hadn’t been pulled out from the wall in the first case and left that way and the walls hadn’t been left unwashed, I never would have concluded that the murderer was a left-handed man.

In the second case, if Moose hadn’t entered the lane to take a pee, the accused man would not have had a witness to testify that the woman was killed while she stood on the roof of the shed next to the kitchen window and not in the living room as the police presumed.

Investigators are expected to use common sense when conducting their investigations and make their findings with a logical mind.  

Here is what I know so far about Khashoggi.  He originally came from Turkey. He had hoped to divide his time between Washington and Istanbul. His fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, is a Turkish PhD student and lives in Istanbul.

On September 28th of this year, Khashoggi visited the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul for the first time, according to his fiancée, despite being somewhat concerned that he could be in danger. Yet he noted that there was no warrant for his arrest in his native country, Saudi Arabia. He visited the consulate to inquire about documents he needed to allow him to marry his fiancée.

On October 2nd, Khashoggi headed towards the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. He was looking for documents proving that his divorce was valid so that he could marry Cengiz, his Turkish fiancée. The plan afterwards, (she later wrote) was to "buy appliances for our new home and set a date for our marriage." He left her outside with his two mobile phones and asked her to call for help if he failed to return. He never came out. The news of him not coming out of the consulate was spread world-wide.
That same day on October, 2nd, a private jet arrived at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport carrying some members of what Turkish media would later refer to as a 15-member Saudi “assassination squad.” Three otherther members of the team arrived by commercial flight later in the day. President Erdogan said that the team included Saudi security and intelligence officials and Dr.  Tubaigy who is a forensic pathologist and is the head of the Saudi Scientific Council of Forensics. The account also links to the Saudi interior ministry. He also carried with him a bone saw that is used to remove the bones from human cadavers. That is the first key to solve this problem.

They met at the Saudi Consulate. One of the first things they did was to dismantle a hard disk connected to the Consulate’s camera system.  That was the second key to the vault.

A pro-government Turkish daily published preliminary evidence from investigators who it said had identified a 15-member Saudi intelligence team that arrived in Istanbul on diplomatic passports hours before Khashoggi disappeared. At 1:14 p.m. that same day, the 15 Saudi agents were already inside the Consulate waiting for Khshoggi’s arrival. That was the third key.

Surveillance footage later leaked to Turkish media shows Khashoggi walking into the main entrance of the Saudi Consulate. No footage made public ever shows him leaving. Meanwhile his fiancée was waiting outside, pacing for hours. That was the fourth key.

At 3:07 p.m.: Surveillance footage shows vehicles with diplomatic license plates leaving the Saudi Consulate for the consul general’s home some 2 kilometres (1.2 miles) away. It is obvious that Khashoggi’s body was in one of the cars, probably in the trunk. That was the fifth key.

At 5:50 p.m., Khashoggi’s fiancée alerted the authorities, saying that he may have been forcibly detained inside the consulate or that something bad may have happened to him.

At 7 p.m, a private plane from Saudi Arabia carries six members of the alleged Saudi squad from Istanbul to Cairo, the next day returning to Riyadh. At –11 p.m., Seven members of the alleged Saudi squad leave on another private jet to Dubai, United Arab Emirates, which the next day returns to Riyadh. Two others left by Istanbul by commercial flights. That was the sixth key.

What followed was a series of leaks to the Turkish press that culminated with a report that Khashoggi had been interrogated and then hacked to death inside the Consulate by a group of 15 Saudi security operatives. Reports in U.S. papers indicated — with visual proof — that one of the men photographed entering Turkey was also often photographed of him being standing next to the Crown Prince. That is one piece of evidence that the Crown Prince had to be behind the murder of Khashoggi. That man was the seventh key.

Also, one of the fifteen agents that entered the consulate was a pathologist carrying on his person a bone saw. That means that Khashoggi was still alive when the 15 men entered the consulate because what happened to Khashoggi occurred after the agents entered the consulate. That was the eighth key.

Turkish officials publicly said that the 15-men team tortured, killed and dismembered the columnist, while Saudi Arabia authorities said that  he died in a fistfight, They went so far as to say that during the fight, one of the agents grabbed him around his neck and Khashoggi died from an accidental choke hold. That would not explain why the agents repainted a large portion of the floor with fresh paint. It was obviously to cover any blood of Khashoggi that was on the floor.  That was the ninth key. 

On October. 16th A team of investigators entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on Monday for what Turkish officials called a joint inspection of the building where Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared. The  Turkish forensics team searched the Saudi’s vacated consulate which is an extraordinary development as such diplomatic posts are considered sovereign soil.  The next day, high-level Turkish official told the AP that "certain evidence" was found in the Saudi Consulate proving that Khashoggi was killed there. They had discovered the new paint job on the floor of one of the rooms where Khashoggi was murdered. The ten  Turkish investigators had left the consulate before 5 am along with a Turkish prosecutor departed around 1-1/2 hours later after their entrance followed shortly after by a Saudi team of investigators. The Turkish crime scene investigators carried out searches in the consulate and took the things they deemed necessary,  a senior Turkish official said, after acknowledging the difficulty of collecting evidence thirteen  days after the alleged incident. Unfortunately, a cleaning crew walked into the consulate before the investigative team arrived Did they remove pertinent evidence?  Meanwhile, at the time of the publication of this article, Turkey investigators have been focusing on a well in the garden of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul as part of its investigation into the killing by Saudi officials of writer Jamal Khashoggi, whose body is still missing. Yeni Safak, a pro-government Turkish newspaper, says investigators emptied the well and are awaiting the results of an analysis of the water to determine whether body parts were dumped there. A water sample from the site did not test positive for Khashoggi’s DNA, as sated by the Turkish media. 
On October 22nd a newly leaked surveillance footage shows a man appearing to wear Khashoggi's clothes leaving the consulate after Khashoggi was murdered. That was the tenth key.

If that is so, how come his fiancée didn’t see the man? Perhaps by then she was elsewhere when that happened. Perhaps she saw the man from a distance and didn’t recognize his face as being her fiancée.

There has been a steady drip of information of incriminating and often macabre leaks through the pro-government Turkish media just to tighten the screws on Riyadh, amid suspicion that the powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman had knowledge of, or ordered the murder of Khashoggi.

Saudi authorities continue to deny any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance. They insist that he left the consulate soon after getting the paperwork he was seeking. That is obviously a lie.

A man identified as the doctor in the room was being heard speaking recommending that other men in the room to join him in listening to music on headphones while he was cutting up Khashoggi's body, according to the Turkish officials.

Turkish officials have an audio recording of the alleged killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi from the Apple watch he wore when he walked into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul over a week ago, a pro-government Turkish newspaper reported. The new claim published by the Sabah newspaper, through which Turkish security officials have leaked much information about the case, puts more pressure on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Khashoggi.    

Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman in his first public comments since the journalist’s murder that had sparked international condemnation promised on October 24th 2018 that the killers of Jamal Khashoggi would be brought to justice. Prince Mohammed told a major investment conference being held in Riyadh that Saudi Arabia and Turkey would work together to reach  results on a joint investigation into the killing. He also said, “The incident that happened is very painful, for all Saudis. The incident is not justifiable.” He further described cooperation between Riyadh and Ankara as “special” despite fierce criticism from Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan and his aides.
When the Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman hosted last October's glittering global investment conference in Saudi Arabia, he had the world at his fingertips. Thousands of investors, corporate chieftains and government leaders flocked to the kingdom to hear the charismatic young heir to the Saudi throne outline his plans for modernization of the reclusive kingdom, and to be invited along for the ride and the profits.
This October, dozens of top international executives and foreign dignitaries have dropped out of the business event as grisly allegations were leaked to the media by unnamed Turkish officials. Attendance was drawn more from Saudi Arabia and the region, and many checked their phones for the latest news on Khashoggi’s fate.

Many who had planned to attend the conference had abruptly canceled their invitations scrambling to distance themselves from what they now saw as a runaway train headed for disaster.  Their distress stems from the still-unfolding story of Jamal Khashoggi, the self-exiled Saudi journalist allegedly killed and gruesomely dismembered this month by Saudi agents inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, after he dared to publicly criticize the Crown Prince and his government.

I think that many people suspect that if the journalist ended up dead at the hands of Saudis (no body has been found) and Saudi Arabia denies any knowledge of his disappearance. it must have been a kidnapping gone wrong or a rogue operation. The Crown Prince they say, has made too great effort courting the West, and is far too intelligent and aware of the potential fallout, to have ordered Khashoggi's killing.
It is my belief that the Crown Prince has misjudged himself into believing that he has such goodwill amongst nations, he can get away with ordering the murder of a publically recognized journalist. His stupidity backfired. It was like stepping into a bear trap believing that only a very heavy bear will spring the trap. This foolish man didn’t realize just how sensitive his situation would become when he gave the order to murder Khashoggi.
Since he outmanoeuvred his rivals to become Saudi Arabia's de-facto leader in 2015, the 33-year-old has received favourable coverage in international media, with a multitude of reports focused on his economic and social reforms in the conservative kingdom.

In March, he toured the United States amid a swirl of publicity, gracing the covers of Time Magazine, sitting down for interviews with CBS' 60 Minutes and Bloomberg.

However, the Khashoggi case has shifted the focus towards the darker side of Salman's record, one that includes the imprisonment of critics and human rights activists, thousands of civilian deaths in Yemen and a rapid rise of the number of executions since his ascent to power.
The U.S. President Donald Trump, in his toughest comments yet, told the Wall Street Journal that the Crown Prince bore ultimate responsibility for the operation that led to the Saudi journalist’s murder.
The New York Times, citing a person familiar with the Saudi plans, reported that the Crown Prince had approved of the abduction and interrogation of Khashoggi. 

If the Crown Prince ordered Khashoggi’s murder, he is in a very tight position in which it will be impossible for him to escape the consequences of his act. The whole world will denounce him.  as said earlier, a number of high profile business and political figures have pulled out of the business conference led by the Crown Prince over the death of the journalist who was a prominent critic of the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler. For Saudi Arabia’s allies, the burning question has been whether they believe that Prince Mohammed, who has painted himself as a reformer, has any culpability in the killing–a possibility raised by several U.S. lawmakers also.

What remains to be seen are the videos of the murder that the Turkish officials claim that they have in their possession. If they exist and are not made public or they don’t exist at all, the president of Turkey will invariably suffer from his lack of credibility. 

Khashoggi’s killing has strained the already testy ties between Turkey and Saudi Arabia, the two regional powerhouses jockeying for supremacy in the Muslim world. President Erdogan has been leveraging the international outrage over the case to further damage the image of Saudi Arabia. He’s now turning the spotlight increasingly on the Crown Prince, its de facto ruler, whose efforts to cast himself as a trustworthy ally and reformer have bumped into the less-flattering reality of a ruthless consolidation of power and failed foreign policy adventures such as the war in Yemen and boycott of Qatar. The shifting Saudi explanations on what happened to the increasingly outspoken Khashoggi has been met with widespread skepticism, even from Saudi allies.

Lawmakers from both the Republican and Democratic parties have called for stiff penalties on Saudi Arabia and some are pushing to block weapons sales to the Saudi kingdom, a move Trump had publicly opposed due to concerns that American companies and workers would lose out.

It would appear that the killing of Khashoggi caused far more damaged to the Saudi Arabian Crown Prince than his articles about the wrongdoings of the Crown Prince ever did. It was no different than swatting a fly and at the same time, knocking over an oil lamp resulting in the house burning down. 

For the first 13 days of Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance, Saudi Arabia held fast to its official position: “We had no involvement.  He left the consulate safely; any suggestion we are responsible is a political smear.”  However, But things began to shift. Under intense pressure from Washington and business leaders around the world, Riyadh (capital of Saudi Arabia) now appears to be preparing to acknowledge that Mr. Khashoggi was in fact killed inside the consulate The narrative they plan to present, according to the New York Times, is that the Saudi government ordered its operatives to interrogate Khashoggi but that something went terribly wrong and the journalist was accidentally killed. Sources told CNN that a high-ranking official close to the crown prince's inner circle oversaw the botched interrogation that led to Khashoggi's death. I suspect that he was the same man that participated in the interrogation of Khashoggi that I wrote about earlier in this article. 

Under international law, both a forced disappearance and an extrajudicial killing are very serious crimes, and immunity should not be used to impede investigations into what happened and who is responsible. If it is established that the Crown Prince ordered the kidnapping and murder of Khashoggi, an Interpol warrant can be issued against the Crown Prince and if he steps out of Saudi Arabia, he can be arrested and put on trial.  Figuratively speaking, this could mean that he will be a prisoner in his own country for the rest of his life. No country would risk inviting him to their country anymore less they become faced with the reputation of harbouring a criminal. 

I am not comparing Khashoggi to Jesus but when the latter was crucified, he became far more known then Khashoggi ever will be and yet, Khashoggi’s articles will continue to ravage the reputation of the Crown Prince even when Khashoggi too is dead.  

With the Crown Prince’s credibility smashed to smithereens, it places the king’s credibility also in a precarious position and he is aware of that dilemma he is facing.

As the Crown Prince battles to contain the fallout from the killing of Khashoggi, Saudi prosecutors said that the murder was preplanned and suspects were being interrogated. According to Colonel Brian Lees, once the UK's defence attaché to Saudi Arabia and Yemen, the Crown Prince's days as de facto ruler are numbered and his father, King Salman may now look to replace him following his son’s  disastrous handling of the case. However, he cannot do so immediately, or even in the next few months, because that would look like bowing to foreign pressure. However, he may eventually use the already established procedure of using the special advisory council within the family to appoint a successor. This would certainly restore the credibility of the monarchy.

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