Thursday, 18 October, 2018

The mysterious case of the missing Saudi journalist

Turkey believes journalist killed in Saudi consulate Saudi Journalist Killed, Dismembered at Consulate in Istanbul: Source
Lisa Bryan | 10 October, 2018, 06:55

Saudi Arabia has dismissed as baseless accusations that it killed or abducted Khashoggi, and on Tuesday Turkey's state-owned Anadolu agency said Riyadh had invited Turkish experts and other officials to visit the consulate. Officials in Turkey believe he was murdered inside the building, while the Saudis claim he left the building unharmed.

In an essay in the Washington Post, Khashoggi's fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, implored U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania to "help shed light on Jamal's disappearance".

In response, U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged the Saudi government to be "transparent" about the results of any investigation.

A still image taken from CCTV video and obtained by TRT World claims to show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as he arrives at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, Turkey Oct. 2, 2018.

In an op-ed published by the Post late Tuesday, Khashoggi's fiancée wrote that the October 2 visit to the Saudi consulate was Khashoggi's second in the space of a few days. "We expect a thorough investigation and total transparency from the Saudi authorities on what happened", European Union's foreign policy chief Federica Mogherini told reporters in Lisbon.

Khashoggi had entered the consulate to get documents for his forthcoming marriage.

"I am concerned about it. Hopefully that will sort itself out".

Fifteen Saudi agents had arrived on two charter flights last Tuesday, the day Khashoggi disappeared, the official said.


Vice President Mike Pence echoed the president's remarks and said the global community "deserves answers". He had been living in the United States since a year ago, in self-imposed exile, in part due to the rise of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has shown little tolerance for criticism. "If true, this is a tragic day", Pence wrote on Twitter.

"Violence against journalists worldwide is going up and is a grave threat to freedom of expression".

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has called for Saudi officials to prove their contention that Khashoggi left the consulate, as most accounts say the last he was seen was entering the building. "We hope that he is safe and that we can hear from him soon".

Erdogan was informed of the conclusions on Saturday, according to several people with knowledge of the briefings, and he has since dispatched officials to anonymously tell myriad news outlets, including The New York Times, that Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate.

Erdogan, who said he was personally following the case, added that Turkey had no documents or evidence at hand regarding the case.

All 15 left just a few hours later, and Turkey has now identified the roles that most or all of them held in the Saudi government or security services, the official said.

"Saudi authorities said they were open to cooperation and that a search can be conducted at the consulate building", the Turkish foreign ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said in a statement.

Aksoy said the investigation was "continuing intensively", and that the Vienna Convention allowed for consulates to be searched by the authorities of the host country with the consent of the mission chief.

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