Friday, 19 October, 2018

Turkish authorities believe Saudi journalist murdered inside consulate

In rebuttal to Trump, bin Salman says Saudi won't pay US for kingdom's security Saudi source denies journalist Khashoggi was killed at consulate in Istanbul
Faye Gross | 09 October, 2018, 04:30

An official at Saudi Arabia's Consulate General in Istanbul has strongly dismissed reports that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed within the consulate, state-news agency SPA reported.

A Turkish official told the AP late Saturday that an "initial assessment" by police concluded Khashoggi had been killed at the consulate.

Prior to last Friday, media outlets affiliated with the outlawed Muslim Brotherhood and Qatar carried a news report that claimed that Saudi Arabia had detained Khashoggi inside its consulate in Istanbul.

He said that, according to his understanding, Mr Khashoggi had left the consulate within an hour of entering.

A team of Saudi investigators arrives in Istanbul Saturday to assist in the investigation. He has not been heard of since.

Saudi officials have said denied the allegations, saying they are baseless.

Khashoggi has been missing since he entered the consulate in Istanbul on Tuesday, and Turkish police investigating his disappearance issued a statement saying that 15 Saudis, including several officials, entered the consulate while he was inside, Turkey's Anadolu news agency reported.

The official quoted by SPA underlined that Saudi Arabia was responsible for the safety and well-being of all its citizens, wherever they may be, and that its authorities "are diligently following up on this matter to uncover the complete facts".

The whistleblower organization tweeted that no British newspaper had led their Monday front pages with news about Khashoggi's suspected murder despite the fact that news agencies like the Associated Press and Reuters were all reporting on the story - and suggested that the lack of interest from the United Kingdom papers was due to the fact that they "all take Saudi money".

Speaking on Al Jazeera's UpFront earlier this year, Khashoggi said that there was no space for debate in Saudi Arabia with intellectuals and journalists jailed for questioning policies.

Post prints empty column for Saudi writer missing in Turkey
You might not be there for two weeks without us. "Right now we have no information". I believe it will be above $2trillion. "We hope it will end as soon as possible".


Khashoggi's fiance Hatice Cengiz believes that Khashoggi was not killed.

Salman said that Khashoggi, who was once close to the ruling family in Saudi Arabia, had "always been honest".

Members of the police and MİT will reportedly jointly analyze surveillance videos of the consulate's entrance and exits as well as the airports in Istanbul and gather any information that might help the case.

He has assailed the prince's reforms as hollow, accusing him of introducing a new Saudi era of "fear, intimidation, arrests and public shaming".

A United States official said that Turkish investigators believe Jamal Khashoggi was likely dismembered, removed in boxes and flown out of the country.

A European Commission spokesperson said in a statement that Brussels was "closely" following the case, adding it was "awaiting clarifications from the Saudi authorities on the fate of Mr Khashoggi". He also said he believes Turkish officials soon will announce the findings of their investigation.

Reuters journalists toured the six-storey consulate in northern Istanbul which Khashoggi entered on Tuesday to get documents for his forthcoming marriage.

Turkish President Erdoğan said on October 7 he was "personally" following the case and added that he still hoped for a positive outcome to the matter.

Khashoggi has also criticised Saudi Arabia's role in Yemen, where Riyadh leads a military coalition fighting alongside the government in its war with Iran-backed rebels.

Mr bin Salman added that the Foreign Ministry was working to "see exactly what happened at that time". We're also joined by Medea Benjamin, co-founder of CodePink, who knew Khashoggi and is the author of "Kingdom of the Unjust: Behind the U.S. -Saudi Connection".

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