Saudi Arabia sacks top officials over Khashoggi death

ANKARA (AA) – Saudi Arabia on Saturday fired senior intelligence officials and decided to restructure its main intelligence agency after confirming the death of Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist and columnist for The Washington Post, had gone missing since entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 2.

Earlier Saturday, Saudi Arabia confirmed that Khashoggi died after a brawl inside the consulate.

According to the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA), Saudi Arabia decided to restructure the General Intelligence Presidency "in order to ensure the proper functioning of its work and the determination of responsibilities".

The Kingdom issued a royal order relieving Deputy President of General Intelligence Ahmed bin Hassan bin Mohammed Assiri from his post.

Saud bin Abdullah Al-Qahtani, advisor at the Royal Court, was also removed from his post.

Saudi Arabia terminated the services of a number of general intelligence officers including the assistant chief of general intelligence for intelligence affairs, assistant chief of general intelligence for human resources, and director of the general directorate of security and protection at the General Intelligence Presidency.

On the day of Khashoggi’s disappearance, 15 other Saudis, including several officials, arrived in Istanbul on two planes and visited the consulate while he was still inside, according to Turkish police sources. All of the identified individuals have since left Turkey.

On Wednesday, crime scene investigation units arrived at the official residence of Saudi Consul General Mohammad al-Otaibi around 4.40 p.m. local time (1340GMT). Al-Otaibi had left Turkey for Riyadh on Tuesday.

Officials from a joint Turkish-Saudi team completed an investigation into the case early Thursday after searching the residence as well as the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

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