Friday, 19 October, 2018

Saudi ambassador ‘concerned’ about missing journalist

Report Saudi journalist killed in Turkey Canada concerned over reports Saudi journalist killed - The Jakarta Post
Faye Gross | 12 October, 2018, 11:39

The Turkish government has told US officials that it has audio and video recordings that prove Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul this month, according to USA and Turkish officials. "Now, nobody will dare to speak and criticize the reforms", Khashoggi said.

The existence of such evidence would explain why Turkish officials were quick to blame Saudi Arabia for Khashoggi's killing.

"We don't know what has happened to him".

A Saudi official said Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after he visited.

The audio recording in particular provides some of the most persuasive and gruesome evidence that the Saudi team is responsible for Khashoggi's death, the officials said.

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

"If these allegations are true, there will be serious consequences because our friendships and our partnerships are based on shared values", Jeremy Hunt told AFP.

The Justice Ministry and the chief prosecutor in Istanbul "started an investigation and efforts are continuing", Erdogan said.

However, activists protesting outside the consulate said more needed to be done.

The Saudi consul-general allowed reporters to tour the facility on Saturday to satisfy themselves that Khashoggi was not held within.

On Tuesday he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul to get documents for his forthcoming marriage. The search proved fruitless and the plane took off again afterwards, it said.

Another Turkish security source told Reuters that a group of 15 Saudi nationals, including some officials, had arrived in Istanbul in two planes and entered the consulate on the same day Khashoggi was there, and later left the country.

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A former newspaper editor in Saudi Arabia and adviser to its former head of intelligence, Khashoggi left the country previous year saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Saudi policy in the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent. His disappearance sparked global concern.

Vice President Mike Pence also weighed in on Khashoggi's disappearance, saying on Twitter, "Deeply troubled to hear reports about Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi".

Khashoggi's fiancee could not immediately be contacted but she said in a Tweet that there had been no official confirmation of the Turkish sources' statements.

"Perhaps I'm simply trying to hide from the thought that I have lost a great man whose love I had earned". Both spoke on condition of anonymity as the investigation was ongoing.

In the September 23 interview, he called Saudi Arabia's foreign policy "narrow minded", and ridiculed its crackdown on political Islam, urging the kingdom to realign its policy to partner with Turkey, a close Qatar ally.

In July, the United Nations human rights office called on Saudi Arabia to release all peaceful activists, including women held for campaigning against a ban on driving as it was being lifted.

Erdogan, whose AK Party is rooted in political Islam, also supported a government in Egypt led by the Muslim Brotherhood, which Saudi Arabia has designated a terrorist movement.

His disappearance is likely to further deepen divisions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Bergen called for USA sanctions against Saudi Arabia if Saudi involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance can be proved, noting that he is a legal US resident and an employee of the Washington Post.

The growing dispute over his fate threatens relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey and raises new questions about the kingdom and the actions of its assertive Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom Khashoggi wrote critically about in his columns.

"Everything is being inspected, especially entries and exits out of Istanbul, the airport", he said.

Steve Case, the AOL co-founder who now serves as chairman of Revolution, also announced he was pulling out.

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