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Watch: Jamal Khashoggi enters the Saudi consulate

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Watch: Jamal Khashoggi enters the Saudi consulate

Watch: Jamal Khashoggi enters the Saudi consulate
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CCTV footage released to the Turkish state TV channel, TRT, shows the moment Jamal Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

Reuters cited a Saudi government official on Sunday who said the journalist died after being put in a chokehold.

The new version of events contradicts an earlier explanation from the kingdom that said he died in a fist-fight that broke out in the consulate.

TRT

The official said a team of 15 Saudi nationals sent to confront Khashoggi had threatened him with being drugged and kidnapped and then killed him in a chokehold when he resisted.

A member of the team then dressed in Khashoggi’s clothes to make it appear as if he had left the consulate.

The changing Saudi narrative

Saudi authorities at the beginning denied any involvement in the The Washington Post columnist's disappearance for two weeks.

They initially said he had left the building soon after entering and dismissed media reports that he was killed inside the consulate.

The on Saturday morning, they said he had died in a fistfight at the consulate.

But on Sunday, a Saudi official told Reuters he was killed after being put in a chokehold.

According to the official’s account, Khashoggi told an operative called Maher Mutreb he was violating diplomatic norms and said, “What are you going to do with me? Do you intend to kidnap me?”

Mutreb replied, “Yes, we will drug you and kidnap you,” in what the official said was an attempt at intimidation that violated the mission’s objective.

When Khashoggi raised his voice, the team panicked. They moved to restrain him, placing him in a chokehold and covering his mouth, according to the government’s account.

“They tried to prevent him from shouting but he died,” the official said. “The intention was not to kill him.”

Asked if the team had smothered Khashoggi, the official said: “If you put someone of Jamal’s age in this position, he would probably die.”

The official said the Saudi narrative of events kept changing as the government initial account was based on “false information reported internally at the time.”

“Once it became clear these initial mission reports were false, it launched an internal investigation and refrained from further public comment,” the official said, adding that the investigation is continuing.

Turkish officials, however, suspect the dissident journalist's body was cut up but the Saudi official said it was rolled up in a rug and given to a “local cooperator” for disposal.

But asked on if Khashoggi was tortured and beheaded, the official said preliminary results of the investigation did not suggest that.