Posts Tagged ‘Saudi Consulate in Istanbul’

Saudi King Salman receives US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo

October 16, 2018
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met with King Salman in the Saudi capital on Tuesday. (SPA)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo thanked Saudi King Salman for his commitment to a thorough, transparent investigation of Saudi writer Jamal Khashoggi disappearance.

Pompeo met with King Salman in the Saudi capital on Tuesday, before meeting with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

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The US chief diplomat was greeted at Riyadh airport by Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and ambassador to Washington Prince Khalid bin Salman, an AFP correspondent reported.

“I hope you are comfortable here,” the king told Pompeo, according to the reporters. Pompeo responded, “Thank you for accepting my visit on behalf of President Trump.”

AFP

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Pompeo meets Saudi king over Khashoggi case, Turks to search consul’s residence

October 16, 2018


Saudi Arabia’s King Salman (R) meets with U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo in Riyadh on Oct. 16, 2018. (Leah Millis/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo met Saudi Arabia’s King Salman on Tuesday to discuss the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, as Turkish police prepared to search the Saudi consul’s residence in Istanbul in a widening probe.

Khashoggi, a U.S. resident and leading critic of the Saudi crown prince, vanished after entering the consulate on Oct. 2. Turkish officials say they believe he was murdered there and his body removed, which the Saudis strongly deny.

President Donald Trump, who dispatched Pompeo to Riyadh amid strained ties with the key ally, has speculated that “rogue killers” may be responsible after speaking with King Salman.

After talks with king, Pompeo met Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and will have dinner with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. He may go on to Turkey.

Overnight, Turkish crime scene investigators entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the last place Khashoggi was seen before vanishing, for the first time and searched the premises for over nine hours, Reuters witnesses said.

A Turkish foreign ministry source said the police would search the consulate again on Tuesday as well as the consul’s residence, which Turkish television has previously reported could be linked to Khashoggi’s disappearance.

The case has provoked an international outcry against the world’s top oil exporter, with media and business executives pulling out of an investment conference next week.

HSBC CEO John Flint backed out on Tuesday, as did the CEOs of Standard Chartered and Credit Suisse.

During the initial consulate search, CNN reported on Monday that Saudi Arabia was preparing to acknowledge Khashoggi’s death in a botched interrogation, after denying for two weeks any role in his disappearance.

The New York Times, citing a person familiar with the Saudi plans, reported the crown prince had approved an interrogation or abduction of Khashoggi. It said the Saudi government, which could not be reached immediately for comment on the reports, would shield the prince by blaming an intelligence official for the bungled operation.

Turkish authorities have an audio recording indicating that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, a Turkish official and a security source have told Reuters, and have shared evidence with countries including Saudi Arabia and the United States.

Pompeo was greeted at the airport by officials including Saudi ambassador to Washington, Prince Khaled bin Salman.

CONSULATE SEARCH

Some 10 Turkish investigators left the consulate before 5 am (0200 GMT), and a Turkish prosecutor departed around 1-1/2 hours later, followed shortly after by a Saudi team, witnesses said.

Forensic vehicles took away soil samples as well as a metal door from the garden, the Reuters witness said. A police dog was part of the search team.

“The Turkish crime scene investigators carried out searches in the consulate and took the things deemed necessary,” a senior Turkish official said, after acknowledging the difficulty of collecting evidence 13 days after the alleged incident.

The U.N. human rights chief on Tuesday said immunity on diplomatic premises and officials should be lifted for the Khashoggi investigation.

Trump has threatened “severe punishment” if it turns out Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, but ruled out cancelling arms deals worth tens of billions of dollars. European allies have urged accountability for those responsible.

Many members of the U.S. Congress, which has long had a testy relationship with Saudi Arabia, have issued strong criticism of the kingdom.

Slideshow (12 Images)

Saudi Arabia has said it would retaliate against any pressure or economic sanctions “with greater action,” and Arab allies rallied to support it.

The Saudi riyal, rebounded early after falling to its lowest in two years over fears that foreign investment could shrink. Saudi stock index was down 3 percent in early Tuesday trade before it recouped some losses for a decline of 0.5 percent by 0949 GMT.

The chief executive of Clariant, which has Saudi Basic Industries Corp (SABIC) as its anchor shareholder, said rising tensions about Khashoggi could hit the Swiss specialty chemicals maker.

FAMILY STATEMENT

Khashoggi, a familiar face on Arab talk shows, moved to Washington last year fearing retribution for his criticism of Prince Mohammed, who has cracked down on dissent with arrests.

The insider never shied away from criticizing Saudi policies but gained prominence in many circles, including as an adviser to former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal.

Members of Khashoggi’s family have called for “an independent and impartial international” investigation.

Khashoggi’s fiancee Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside the consulate the day he disappeared, tweeted a Koranic verse warning those who kill on purpose, with the hashtag “Jamal is the Martyr of the Word”.

A pro-government Turkish daily published preliminary evidence last week from investigators who it said had identified a 15-member Saudi intelligence team that arrived in Istanbul on diplomatic passports hours before Khashoggi disappeared. One of the names matches a LinkedIn profile for a forensic expert who has worked at the Saudi Interior Ministry for 20 years.

Additional reporting by Yesim Dikmen and Sarah Dadouch in Istanbul, Orhan Coskun and Ece Toksabay in Ankara, John Revill in Basel, Oliver Hirt in Zurich, Lawrence White in London, Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva; Writing by Ece Toksabay, Daren Butler and Stephen Kalin, editing by Darren Schuettler, Sam Holmes, William Maclean

Reuters

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Pompeo arrives in Riyadh to discuss Khashoggi case with king, crown prince

October 16, 2018

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Riyadh on Tuesday to discuss the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi with the king and crown prince, after President Donald Trump speculated “rogue killers” may be responsible.

Overnight, Turkish crime scene investigators entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the last place Khashoggi was seen before vanishing on Oct. 2, for the first time and searched the premises for over nine hours, Reuters witnesses said.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, second right in front, walks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir after arriving in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 16, 2018. (Leah Millis/Pool Photo via AP)

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, second right in front, walks with Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir after arriving in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, Oct. 16, 2018. (Leah Millis/Pool Photo via AP)

During the search, CNN and the New York Times reported Saudi Arabia was preparing to acknowledge Khashoggi’s death in a botched interrogation, after denying for two weeks any role in his disappearance.

Saudi Foreign Minister Adel al-Jubeir and ambassador to Washington, Prince Khaled bin Salman, greeted Pompeo at the airport. He will meet King Salman and Jubeir before dinner with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, according to reporters traveling with him. He may go on to Turkey.

The case has strained U.S. ties with Riyadh, carefully cultivated by the president, and provoked an international outcry against the world’s top oil exporter, with media and business executives pulling out of an investment conference next week.

Khashoggi, a U.S. resident, Washington Post columnist and leading critic of Prince Mohammed, vanished after entering the consulate to get marriage documents. Turkish officials say they believe he was murdered there and his body removed.

Citing two unidentified sources, CNN reported on Monday that Saudi Arabia was preparing a report that would acknowledge Khashoggi was killed as the result of an interrogation gone wrong. The Saudi government, which until now has maintained that Khashoggi left the consulate soon after entering, could not be reached immediately for comment on the reports.

The New York Times, citing a person familiar with the Saudi plans, reported the crown prince had approved an interrogation or abduction of Khashoggi. The Saudi government, it said, would shield the prince by blaming an intelligence official for the bungled operation.

Turkish authorities have an audio recording indicating that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, a Turkish official and a security source have told Reuters, and have shared evidence with countries including Saudi Arabia and the United States.

The Latest: UN urges Saudi Arabia to reveal Khashoggi's fate
Cleaning personnel wait to enter Saudi Arabia’s Consulate in Istanbul, Monday, Oct. 15, 2018. Turkey says an “inspection” of the consulate is expected to take place later on Monday, nearly two weeks after Saudi journalist after Jamal Khashoggi disappeared there. (AP Photo/Petros Giannakouris) (Petros Giannakouris)

CONSULATE SEARCH

Some 10 Turkish investigators left the consulate before 5 am (0200 GMT), and a Turkish prosecutor departed around 1-1/2 hours later, followed shortly after by a Saudi team, witnesses said.

Forensic vehicles took away soil samples as well as a metal door from the garden, the Reuters witness said. A police dog was part of the search team.

“The Turkish crime scene investigators carried out searches in the consulate and took the things deemed necessary,” a senior Turkish official told Reuters, after earlier acknowledging the difficulty of collecting evidence 13 days after the alleged incident.

Trump has threatened “severe punishment” if it turns out Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, but ruled out cancelling arms deals worth tens of billions of dollars. European allies have urged accountability for those responsible.

Many members of the U.S. Congress, which has long had a testy relationship with Saudi Arabia, have issued strong criticism of the kingdom.

Saudi Arabia has said it would retaliate against any pressure or economic sanctions “with greater action,” and Arab allies rallied to support it.

Its currency, the riyal, rebounded early on Tuesday after falling to its lowest in two years over fears that foreign investment could shrink amid international pressure. The Saudi stock index was down 3 percent.

FAMILY STATEMENT

Khashoggi, a familiar face on Arab talk shows, moved to Washington last year fearing retribution for his criticism of Prince Mohammed, who has cracked down on dissent with arrests.

The consummate insider never shied away from criticizing Saudi policies but gained prominence in many circles, including as an adviser to former Saudi intelligence chief Prince Turki al-Faisal.

Members of Khashoggi’s family have called for an investigation.

“We are sadly and anxiously following the conflicting news regarding the fate of our father after losing contact with him two weeks ago,” they said on Monday.

“The strong moral and legal responsibility which our father instilled in us obliges us to call for the establishment of an independent and impartial international commission to inquire into the circumstances of his death.”

Khashoggi’s fiancee Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside the consulate the day he disappeared, tweeted a Koranic verse warning those who kill on purpose, with the hashtag “Jamal is the Martyr of the Word”.

A pro-government Turkish daily published preliminary evidence last week from investigators who it said had identified a 15-member Saudi intelligence team that arrived in Istanbul on diplomatic passports hours before Khashoggi disappeared.

One of the names matches a LinkedIn profile for a forensic expert who has worked at the Saudi Interior Ministry for 20 years. Other names and photos resembled officers in the Saudi military.

Additional reporting by Yesim Dikmen and Sarah Dadouch; Writing by Ece Toksabay, Daren Butler and Stephen Kalin, editing by Darren Schuettler, Sam Holmes, William Maclean

Reuters

My Fiancé Jamal Khashoggi Was a Lonely Patriot

October 14, 2018
Image result for Khashoggi, photos

His ideas will reverberate from Turkey to Saudi Arabia and beyond. Oppression never lasts forever. Tyrants eventually pay for their sins.

By Hatice Cengiz

Ms. Cengiz, a doctoral student at a university in Istanbul, is Jamal Khashoggi’s fiancée

Image result for Jamal Khashoggi, photos

A protester held a picture of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration in front of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Monday. Credit Tolga Bozoglu/EPA, via Shutterstock

Jamal Khashoggi and I met at a conference in Istanbul in May. I was familiar with his work because I am interested in the Middle East and the Gulf region. We spoke for about half an hour about politics. Jamal talked about the extraordinary transformation taking place in Saudi Arabia, his native country, and how it made him anxious.

Afterward, I wrote to him to thank him for the conversation. We continued our dialogue, which quickly evolved into an emotional relationship. I admired his personality: his wisdom and courage to raise political questions in our part of the world. We connected over our shared passion for democracy, human rights and freedom of expression — the fundamental principles for which he fought.

Jamal’s family was originally from the Turkish city of Kayseri. For more than 30 years, he worked as a journalist. He was a reporter for the Saudi Gazette and other publications, a top editor at Arab News and Al Watan newspapers, he ran a television network, wrote columns, and advised some of Saudi Arabia’s most prominent leaders and policymakers — including Prince Turki al-Faisal, the country’s former intelligence chief.

He traveled widely across the world, but loved Saudi Arabia more than anywhere else. Yet there was no room left in his native country for him. He fled Saudi Arabia with two suitcases amid a crackdown on intellectuals and activists who criticized Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

Yet Jamal was a patriot. When people referred to him as a dissident, he would reject that definition. “I am an independent journalist using his pen for the good of his country,” he would say. He left Saudi Arabia because it was the only way he could write and speak about issues and ideas that he cared about, and to work without compromising his dignity.

At moments of distress, he would think about his jailed friends back home, and try to console himself by saying, “at least I can still write freely at the moment.” But he had nightmares, full of their voices and silhouettes. Whenever I would call him in the morning, Jamal would say my voice brought a smile to his face. Having not heard from him in days, now I understand better what he meant.

What was most endearing about Jamal was his honesty, openheartedness and warmth. As we got to know each other, I began to see him, not merely as the sharp, accomplished journalist and thinker that the world knew, but also a sensitive man who moved through the world with a piercing, painful longing for his home. He often spoke of his desire to be able to walk through the streets of Medina, where he was born and raised, and spend hours talking with his friends.

He had been living and working in Washington, D.C., for more than a year. “This life away from home, my family and friends, and the spiritual atmosphere of my country, is too heavy a burden,” he told me once. Indeed, he felt very lonely: “Dear Hatice, I have my health and everything else, but I have nobody to share life with.” All he wanted from his partner in life was love, respect and companionship.

The author, Hatice Cengiz, outside of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on Oct. 3, a day after Jamal Khashoggi’s disappearance. Credit Sedat Suna/EPA, via Shutterstock

Our love and our dreams of a new life together brought him from Washington to Istanbul, to get the required documents for our marriage. The hope of spending the rest of our lives together happily motivated Jamal to walk into the Saudi consulate building on that fateful afternoon, Oct. 2.

Jamal and I had many dreams, but the most important one was to build a home together. Sometimes he would talk about his friends in the United States and speak about how he would want me to meet them after our marriage. Almost every day he said he would wish to wake up in the morning knowing he was not alone. Despite dealing with such intense emotions, Jamal never bothered others with his problems. He always tried to remain as strong as a mountain.

He was cheerful the morning we were going to the Saudi consulate to get a document certifying his divorce. I decided not to go to my university that day, and we traveled there together. He had no foreboding of what was to come. The consular official, who had informed him that the paperwork had come through, had told him to be at the Saudi consulate at 1 p.m.

On our way there, we made plans for the rest of the day. We were going to browse appliances for our new home and meet with our friends and family members over dinner. When we arrived at the consulate, he went right in. He told me to alert the Turkish authorities if I did not hear from him soon. Had I known it would be the last time I would see Jamal, I would have rather entered the Saudi consulate myself. The rest is history: He never walked out of that building. And with him, I also got lost there.

Since then, I have been thinking that Jamal and I are no longer in the same world. I keep asking the same questions to myself: Where is he? Is he alive? If he is alive, how is he?

Today is Jamal’s birthday. I had planned a party, inviting his closest friends to surround him with the love and warmth that he had missed. We would have been married now.

Twelve days have passed. I have been waking up every morning hoping to hear from him. The speculations about his fate have not been confirmed by the authorities, but the silence of Saudi Arabia fills me with dread. That haunting question doesn’t leave me for a single moment: Is it true? Have they assassinated Jamal?

If the allegations are true, and Jamal has been murdered by the errand boys of Mohammed bin Salman, he is already a martyr. His loss is not just mine but that of every person with a conscience and moral compass. If we have already lost Jamal, then condemnation is not enough. The people who took him from us, irrespective of their political positions, must be held accountable and punished to the full extent of the law.

In recent days, I saw reports about President Trump wanting to invite me to the White House. If he makes a genuine contribution to the efforts to reveal what happened inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul that day, I will consider accepting his invitation.

Jamal spoke up against oppression, but he paid for the Saudi people’s demand for freedom with his own life. If he is dead, and I hope that is not the case, thousands of Jamals will be born today, on his birthday. His voice and his ideas will reverberate, from Turkey to Saudi Arabia, and across the world. Oppression never lasts forever. Tyrants eventually pay for their sins.

When your loved one leaves this world, the other world no longer seems scary or far away. It is being left here all alone, without them, that is most painful.

The New York Times

NTY:https://www.nytimes.com/2018/10/13/opinion/jamal-khashoggi-saudi-arabia-fiancee-mbs-murder.html?action=click&module=Opinion&pgtype=Homepage

Mnuchin still attending Saudi ‘Davos in the Desert’

October 13, 2018

US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said Saturday that he still planned to attend an economic meeting in Riyadh this month, but would keep his eye on a probe into the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

© AFP | US Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin says he will still travel to Saudi Arabia later this month

As questions swirl over the fate of Khashoggi — a Saudi critic who has not been seen since he walked into the kingdom’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2 — some big business names and media outlets have pulled out of the second Future Investment Initiative.

“Obviously I want to express concern for Mr. Khashoggi and his family,” Mnuchin told reporters on the sidelines of the IMF’s annual meetings in Bali.

“We look forward to getting results of this investigation.”

But Mnuchin added that he had not changed plans to attend the October 23-25 conference in Riyadh, dubbed “Davos in the Desert” after the World Economic Forum in the Swiss resort.

“The answer is for now I am” still going, Mnuchin said.

“If more information comes out over the next week, I will obviously take that into account.”

Riyadh on Saturday dismissed accusations that Khashoggi was ordered murdered by a hit squad inside its Istanbul consulate as “lies and baseless allegations”.

But the row has intensified with the Washington Post reporting that Turkish officials have recordings made from inside the building that allegedly prove their claims Khashoggi was tortured and killed at the consulate.

Bloomberg, the Financial Times, The Economist and The New York Times have withdrawn as media sponsors from the event amid questions about the missing man’s fate.

The CEO of ride-hailing app Uber, Dara Khosrowshahi, said that he will no longer be attending the event unless “a substantially different set of facts emerges”.

British entrepreneur Richard Branson said he would suspend two directorships linked to tourism projects in Saudi Arabia over the issue.

Amnesty International demanded the Saudi authorities reveal what happened to Khashoggi as it said Riyadh was “responsible at a minimum for enforced disappearance”.

AFP

Apple watch worn by Saudi journalist may have transmitted evidence of his death, Turkish paper reports

October 13, 2018

Missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi may have recorded his own death, a Turkish newspaper reported Saturday morning.

Khashoggi turned on the recording function of his Apple Watch before walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 , according to Sabah newspaper.
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The moments of his “interrogation, torture and killing were audio recorded and sent to both his phone and to iCloud,” the pro-government, privately owned newspaper paper reported. The Turkish newspaper said conversations of the men involved in the reported assassination were recorded.
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Security forces leading the investigation found the audio file inside the phone Khasshoggi left with his fiancé, according to Sabah.
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Related image
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Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi
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Upon noticing the watch, Sabah reports, Khashoggi’s assailants tried to unlock the Apple Watch with multiple password attempts, ultimately using Khashoggi’s fingerprint to unlock the smart watch. They were successful in deleting only some of the files, Sabah reported.
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However, on its website, Apple does not list fingerprint verification as one of the Apple Watch’s capabilities. A representative from the company confirmed to CNN the watches do not have the feature.
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It was not immediately clear whether it would have been technically feasible for Khashoggi’s Apple phone to transfer audio to his phone, which he had given to his fiancee before entering the consulate.
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CNN cannot independently verify Sabah report and is seeking comment from both Saudi and Turkish officials.
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Mohammed Bin Salman
Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman. Photo: Pablo Blazquez Dominguez/Getty Images
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Saudi Arabia firmly denies any involvement in his disappearance and says he left the consulate that afternoon. His fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside the consulate, says she did not see him re-emerge.
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Turkey has called on Saudi officials to provide evidence that he left the consulate, as they claim.
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Saudi Arabia Interior Minister Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz said reports that the Saudi government ordered the killing of Khashoggi are “lies and baseless allegations against the government of the Kingdom,” according to a statement in the state-run Saudi Press Agency (SPA) published early Saturday.
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Prince Abdulaziz bin Saud bin Naif bin Abdulaziz, Saudi Arabia’s minister of interior. (SPA)
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Abdulaziz also said “some media” have circulated “false accusations” regarding Khashoggi’s disappearance.
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On Friday, a source familiar with the ongoing investigation told CNN that Turkish authorities have audio and visual evidence that showed Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate. But it was unclear how Turkish authorities obtained the evidence.
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The evidence, which was described to the source by a Western intelligence agency, showed there had been an assault and a struggle inside the consulate. There is also evidence of the moment that Khashoggi was killed, the source said.
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Turkish security units analyzed how Khashoggi’s reported killing unfolded with the use of a translator, according to Sabah.
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Sabah also reported that investigation units are currently examining all cell phone and landline records from the consulate and the consul general’s residence on October 2.
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Efforts to locate Khashoggi’s body are ongoing, Sabah reported.
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Khashoggi, a columnist for the Washington Post, went into the consulate to obtain paperwork that would allow him to marry his Turkish fiancée. He hasn’t been seen in public since.
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CCTV images show Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2.
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The Washington Post reported late Thursday that the Turkish government had told US officials that it was in possession of audio and video recordings proving that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate, citing unnamed US and Turkish sources.
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The audio recording in particular provided “persuasive and gruesome evidence” that a Saudi team dispatched to Istanbul was responsible for Khashoggi’s death, the Post reported.
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“You can hear his voice and the voices of men speaking Arabic,” one person with knowledge of the recording told the Post. “You can hear how he was interrogated, tortured and then murdered.”
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International pressure has mounted on Saudi Arabia to explain what happened to Khashoggi, a former Saudi royal insider who became a critic of the regime and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who is known colloquially as MBS.
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The business world has also signaled its disquiet, with British tycoon Richard Branson saying he’s pulling back from two tourism projects in Saudi Arabia and has suspended discussions with Riyadh about a $1 billion investment in Virgin’s space companies. Business leaders have also started pulling out of a key conference hosted by MBS in late October.
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CNN confirmed Friday that it too would no longer participate in the Saudi Future Investment Initiative conference, known as “Davos in the desert.” CNN was a media partner for the event.
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US Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin reaffirmed his commitment to attend the Riyadh summitwhile expressing concerns about Khashoggi’s status.
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“The conference is on for now, I am going,” he told reporters Saturday at the International Monetary Fund’s annual meeting in Indonesia.
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He also suggested that his plans could change as details from the investigation are released.
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Focus on 15 Saudi men

Turkish authorities believe 15 Saudi men who arrived in Istanbul on October 2 were connected to Khashoggi’s disappearance and possible killing. At least some of them appear to have high-level connections in the Saudi government.
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On Thursday, a US official familiar with the intelligence told CNN that the US had intercepts of Saudi officials discussing a plan to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia and detain him.
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Washington’s “working assumption” is that Khashoggi was killed inside the consulate in Istanbul, according to a US official familiar with the latest intelligence. “We are pretty clear eyed it is likely to have happened and it didn’t end well,” the official said. The source did caution that this was the latest assessment and no conclusions had been made.
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An aerial image of the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
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A source who knows Khashoggi told CNN that Saudi authorities made several attempts to reach out to Khashoggi in 2017, including proposing he lead a think tank funded by the state. The source says that Khashoggi rejected the ideas and over the following months his much sharper criticism of the government, in its domestic policy and relating to the crisis with Qatar, ended any dialogue.
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The source, who maintains high-level contact inside the kingdom, says that senior figures in the Royal Court in Riyadh were especially infuriated by Khashoggi’s criticism of the decision by the Saudi authorities to classify in September 2017 the Muslim Brotherhood and the Islamic scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi as terrorists. At the same time, the source says, Khashoggi became more wary of returning to the kingdom.
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Three days before his disappearance, Khashoggi — speaking to a BBC journalist in an off-air conversation after a radio interview — said he did not think he would ever be able to return to Saudi Arabia.
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Asked when he might be able to go home again, Khashoggi says: “I don’t think I’ll be able to.”
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The BBC several days ago said it decided to publish the off-air conversation “in light of the current circumstances.”
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“When I hear of an arrest of a friend who did nothing… makes me feel I shouldn’t go,” Khashoggi is heard saying. “That friend of mine… maybe he was talking critically over something at a dinner party. That’s what we are becoming in Saudi Arabia, we are not used to that, we never experienced [this],” he added.
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A delegation from Saudi Arabia has arrived in Turkey for the investigation into Khashoggi’s disappearance, Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency reported Friday.
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Trump rules out immediate action on arms sales

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US President Donald Trump has said his administration was being “very tough” with Saudi Arabia as it investigates Khashoggi’s case.
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But Trump said Thursday that he was reluctant to take action, particularly on the issue of arms sales. “There are other things we can do,” he told reporters at the White House.
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“I don’t like the concept of stopping an investment of $110 billion into the United States because you know what they’re going to do, they’re going to take that money and spend it in Russia or China,” Trump said, referring to a US arms deal with Saudi Arabia. “If it turns out to be as bad as it might be, there are certainly other ways of handling the situation.”
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The US signed a nearly $110 billion defense deal with Saudi Arabia in May 2017, when Trump made Saudi Arabia a stop on his first foreign trip as president. The stop was seen, in part, as an endorsement of the strong relationship between Trump, Jared Kushner — his son-in-law and senior adviser — and bin Salman.
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France’s Foreign Ministry said it had demanded that Saudi Arabia provide a “complete and detailed response” with regard to the reported killing of Khashoggi, whose disappearance “raises serious questions about his fate.”
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“France demands that the facts are clearly established,” the ministry said.
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Gulf Arab states came out in support of Saudi Arabia, however, in the first wave of official reactions from its neighbors.
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In a tweet Thursday, the United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister, Anwar Gargash, called media reports on the matter “a fierce campaign” run in coordination with “inciting parties.”
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Image result for Anwar Gargash, Photos
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United Arab Emirates’ Foreign Minister, Anwar Gargash
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“The repercussions of political targeting of Saudi Arabia will be dire on those who inflame it,” he said.
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Bahrain’s Foreign Minister, Khalid bin Ahmad, said that “Saudi Arabia is the target, not the search for truth.”
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Turkish investigation

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Saudi officials had agreed to allow Ankara to inspect the consulate as part of Turkey’s investigation into the missing journalist. But it was not clear Friday whether this inspection had taken place. A senior Turkish official speaking on the condition of anonymity had previously told CNN that “the Saudis are not cooperating fully with the investigation. They are not open to cooperating.”
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On Friday, a Saudi official said that he “welcomed” an announcement by the Turkish President to form a joint team of experts from both countries to investigate Khashoggi’s disappearance and that he was “fully confident of the team’s ability to accomplish the mission,” according to a statement from the Center for International Communication at the Saudi Information Ministry.
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He said the “Kingdom attached utmost priority to its citizens’ safety and security, irrespective of their location.”
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Sabah, a pro-government private newspaper in Turkey, on Tuesday listed 15 names alongside photographs of men who authorities believe were flown into Istanbul from Riyadh. The state-run Anadolu news agency later published similar details on eight of the individuals.
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One of the Saudi men was identified by Turkey’s official Anadolu Agency and Sabah as Salah Muhammed al-Tubaiqi. He is listed on an official Saudi health website as the head of the forensic medicine department at the interior ministry.
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Salah Muhammad al-Tubaiqi, head of the forensic medicine department at the Saudi interior ministry.
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Another member of the group identified by Turkish official media, Muhammad Saad al-Zahrani, has appeared on Saudi state TV alongside MBS.
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See also:
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Trump Says He Will Speak With Saudi Arabia’s King Salman About Missing Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

http://time.com/5423878/trump-saudi-arabia/

and

Companies back away from Saudi business over missing journalist

https://www.axios.com/companies-saudi-arabia-conference-khashoggi-disappearance-153deaec-1282-4723-91f2-2ea8998d5fe2.html

Turkey Says Recordings Are Evidence of Saudi Journalist’s Killing

October 12, 2018

Ankara has shared with U.S. officials what it calls graphic audio and video proving Jamal Khashoggi died in Saudi consulate

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, shown in 2012, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, shown in 2012, was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. PHOTO: ALI HAIDER/EPA-EFE/REX/EPA/SHUTTERSTOCK
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The Turkish government has what it describes as audio and video recordings purporting to show that Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, and has shared the evidence with U.S. officials, according to people familiar with the matter.

The Turkish officials may release the evidence in coming days, these people said, adding the recordings have been described by those who have reviewed them as evidence of a killing. The audio evidence is particularly graphic, according to these people.

“Turkish investigators have sound from inside the consulate which makes it clear they killed him,” one of the people said.

Saudi Arabia says it had nothing to do with the journalist’s disappearance.

The disclosure of the new evidence concerning Mr. Khashoggi came as the Trump administration said it was awaiting a determination regarding the well-known writer and columnist’s fate, but also as Republican and Democratic pressure intensified pressure on the White House to prepare for a “severe” response.

President Trump, for a second day, expressed concern Thursday over reports that Mr. Khashoggi is dead and that the Saudi government has been implicated by Turkey. But he said he wouldn’t favor a halt in arms sales to Saudi Arabia should an investigation implicate Riyadh, although he would be open to other actions.

Mr. Khashoggi, a prolific writer, was one of the best-known voices in the region, contributing columns and commentary to outlets including the BBC, Al Jazeera and the Washington Post and building a Twitter following of nearly 2 million.

What We Know About the Missing Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

What We Know About the Missing Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

Jamal Khashoggi has not been seen since he entered the Saudi Consulate on Oct.2. Photo: Getty Images

He advocated on behalf of expanded democratic governance among the regimes of the Middle East and, in particular, maintained that Islamist movements such as the Muslim Brotherhood should be included in choices available to the region’s citizens. Saudi officials classify the Muslim Brotherhood as a terrorist group.

Mr. Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week. His fiancée, a Turkish woman, accompanied him to the consulate and waited outside for him, but said he never came out. Saudi Arabia denies he was taken into custody.

“We don’t like it, we don’t like it a little bit,” Mr. Trump said.

“What happened is a terrible thing, assuming that happened,” he added. “Maybe we’ll be pleasantly surprised, but somehow I doubt it.”

The State Department said that Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to Washington, Prince Khalid bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, has left the U.S. to report back to Riyadh, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said Thursday. She said the U.S. has requested an update on Mr. Khashoggi’s case when he returns, and said the U.S. didn’t direct him to leave.

The White House said on Wednesday that the Trump administration has requested transparency from the Saudis in its investigation behind Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance. In Turkey, the pro-government Sabah newspaper said that Turkey had agreed to a joint investigation with Saudi Arabia of Mr. Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Turkish officials were conferring with counterparts in Washington on how and when to release the purported audio and video, the people familiar with the matter said.

Turkish officials said the Trump administration was concerned about possible backlash from Saudi Arabia and had asked Turkey for time to privately pressure Riyadh for information, these people said. The White House declined to comment.

One of the people familiar with the matter said that Turkish investigators had shared purported audio from inside the consulate with senior editors of Turkish media. This person said the audio was clear and detailed.

Behind the scenes, Mr. Trump’s national security adviser John Bolton and senior presidential adviser Jared Kushner—also his son-in-law—continued working to defuse tensions with the Saudi leadership, according to a person familiar with the discussions.

The two men spoke to Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman about Mr. Khashoggi on Tuesday, followed by a call between Prince Mohammed and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, according to the White House.

Efforts to get Turkish intelligence officials to cooperate also are under way, and the person familiar with the discussions said it was in Turkey’s best interest to work with the U.S. on Mr. Khashoggi’s case in light of the recent deterioration in ties with Ankara, a person familiar with the discussions said.

Meanwhile, Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R., Tenn.) told reporters Thursday that the White House would be under “immense pressure” to punish Saudi Arabia if an investigation determines Riyadh is responsible for the killing of Mr. Khashoggi, as Turkish officials have indicated.

Image result for Bob Corker, photos

Bob Corker

“If it turns out to be what we all think it is today, there will have to be significant sanctions placed at the highest levels,” Mr. Corker said. “They will be under immense pressure—immense pressure—if it’s determined that Saudi Arabia was involved to sanction, very severely, the people who’ve been involved in this.”

Mr. Corker said a finding that the Saudis are responsible for Mr. Khashoggi’s killing would change the U.S.-Saudi relationship.

Some Republicans suggested they would be open to blocking arms sales, even though Mr. Trump has indicated that could cost American jobs.

“Arms sales are certainly going to be, I think, a huge concern if there is [Saudi responsibility] that is irrefutable,” Sen. Cory Gardner (R., Colo.) said Thursday.

Sen. Robert Menendez (D., N.J.), the top Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, said the decision this week by a bipartisan group of lawmakers to trigger an sanctions determination investigation was the first time such an action had been pursued.

“That’s a pretty powerful statement and I expect that it will be a serious investigation because all the signs lead to some serious concerns about what happened to Mr. Khashoggi,” he said.

According to a congressional official, the review of potential human rights violation under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act will be conducted by the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control, with assistance from the State Department.

Senators, led by Messrs. Corker and Menendez, requested in a letter Wednesday that the president initiate an investigation under the Magnitsky law.

Under the law, the president, upon receiving such a letter, must determine within 120 days whether a foreign national is behind an extrajudicial killing, torture or other human-rights violation of someone exercising freedom of expression, and if so, put sanctions on the violator.

Asked about congressional reaction to the case, Ms. Nauert, the State Department spokeswoman, suggested that the congressional action was premature.

“I think they’re jumping to conclusions,” adding, “We don’t have the facts of the case.”

Appeared in the October 12, 2018, print edition as ‘Turkey Says Recordings Are Evidence Of Killing.’

Includes video:

https://www.wsj.com/articles/turkey-says-saudi-journalists-killing-was-recorded-1539314057

Jamal Khashoggi ‘dragged from consulate office, killed and dismembered’ — Middle East Eye

October 11, 2018

Turkish sources tell MEE they know when and where the missing Saudi journalist, last seen entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, was killed

CCTV footage shows Khashoggi arriving at the consulate on 2 October (AFP)
Last update:
Thursday 11 October 2018 15:13 UTC

Jamal Khashoggi was dragged from the consul general’s office inside the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last Tuesday before he was brutally murdered by two men who cut up his body, sources close to the investigation have told Middle East Eye.

Turkish officials say they know when and where in the building the veteran Saudi journalist was killed and are considering whether to dig up the consul-general’s garden to see whether his remains are buried there.

Khashoggi, 59, has been missing since last Tuesday when he entered the consulate to obtain paperwork so he could remarry, and has not been seen since.

Saudi officials have strongly denied any involvement in his disappearance and say that he left the consulate soon after arriving. However they have not presented any evidence to corroborate their claim and say that video cameras at the consolate were not recording at the time.

We know when Jamal was killed, in which room he was killed and where the body was taken to be dismembered. If the forensic team are allowed in, they know exactly where to go

– Turkish source

“I would like to confirm that… Jamal is not at the consulate nor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the consulate and the embassy are working to search for him,” the Saudi consul-general, Mohammad al-Otaibi, said on Saturday after the consulate was opened to Reuters journalists. “We are worried about this case.”

But a Turkish source with direct knowledge of the investigation has given MEE a detailed account of what investigators say happened in the consulate last Tuesday.

“We know when Jamal was killed, in which room he was killed and where the body was taken to be dismembered. If the forensic team are allowed in, they know exactly where to go,” he said.

Khashoggi first went to the consulate on 28 September and met with a Saudi diplomat in an attempt to get the papers he needed.

The Saudi diplomat passed him on to a member of Saudi intelligence who said the consulate would be unable to provide what he needed that day, but he could return the following week, the source said.

Khashoggi left the building on Friday with the telephone number of the intelligence official.

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On Tuesday morning, Khashoggi called and asked if he should still come to the consulate and was told that the papers were ready for him, the source said. His appointment was for 1pm.

Half an hour before then, during the lunch break held at the consulate, all local staff members left for their usual lunch break which lasts an hour. As they left, they were told to take the afternoon off because a high-level diplomatic meeting was planned for the afternoon in the consulate, the source said.

As a time-stamped photo first published by the Washington Post has shown, Khashoggi walked into the consulate less than an hour later at 1.14pm.

He was greeted by an official, and led into the consul-general’s room. Shortly afterwards, two men entered the room and dragged Khashoggi out of the office and into another room where they killed him, the source said, without elaborating how he was killed.

Khashoggi’s body was then dragged into a third room and dismembered, he said.

A Saudi source told Reuters that British intelligence believed there had been an attempt to drug Khashoggi inside the consulate that culminated in an overdose.

He said the information came from a British intelligence source. Contacted by Reuters, British intelligence did not comment. Asked about this account, a Saudi official said: “This death is not true.”

Digging up the garden

There are around 22 cars which are registered to the consulate of which between three and four are of interest to the murder inquiry.

One of them left the consulate building at 3:15pm and went several hundred metres to the nearby consul general’s home, the source said.

MEE understands that the prosecutor general is now considering whether to dig up the consul general’s garden to see whether Khashoggi’s remains are buried there.

A separate Turkish source told MEE that the consul general has not left his house for the past three days and has cancelled all of his appointments.

This source also said that the Turkish police want to search the residence and also take all the cars which are registered to the consulate to a secure location to examine them, but the Saudis have not allowed this.

A source also told MEE the Saudis took all the hard drives from the security camera room at the consulate with them when they left the building.

The Saudis on Tuesday rescinded an offer they made originally to allow Turkish forensic experts onto the premises. Their offer was withdrawn after Turkish media outlets published a list of 15 Saudis who arrived in Istanbul on the same day Khashoggi disappeared.

READ MORE►

Full coverage of Jamal Khashoggi

The source who outlined the account of how Khashoggi was killed said that police investigators were confident they already had enough forensic evidence from searches of the sewage network connected to the building.

A second Turkish source with knowledge of the investigation told MEE that the Turks had video and audio evidence of the killing. However, they have not revealed how they obtained this evidence.

But particular attention is being paid to the Apple watch that Khashoggi was wearing when he entered the building. This is synced electronically to the iPhone that he gave his fiancee before entering the building.

MEE has sought comment from the Saudi embassies in the UK and US.

This article is available in French on Middle East Eye French edition.

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/exclusive-1433170798

 

Saudi Arabia’s US ambassador condemns ‘malicious leaks and grim rumors’ surrounding Khashoggi disappearance

October 10, 2018

Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the United States has condemned the “outrageous” claims about the fate of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

In a “personal message” reported by Al-Arabiya Prince Khaled bin Salman said he wanted to address the “malicious leaks and grim rumors flying around about Jamal’s whereabouts and fate.”

“I assure you that the reports that suggest that Jamal Khashoggi went missing in the Consulate in Istanbul or that the Kingdom’s authorities have detained him or killed him are absolutely false, and baseless,” Prince Khaled said in the statement released on Monday evening.

Prince Khaled bin Salman, Saudi Arabia’s ambassador to the US. (SPA)

“Jamal has many friends in the Kingdom, including myself, and despite our differences, and his choice to go into his so called ‘self-exile,’ we still maintained regular contact when he was in Washington.”

Khashoggi went missing in Istanbul last week.

A security delegation consisting of Saudi investigators arrived in Istanbul on Saturday to take part in the investigations.

Prince Khaled said the aim is to “chase every lead to uncover the truth behind his disappearance.”

“We will not spare any effort to locate him, just as we would if it were any other Saudi citizen.”

——

The Saudi ambassador’s full statement can be read below:

“I am sure you are following the news stories about Jamal Khashoggi. There are many facts regarding his whereabouts that will hopefully be revealed through the ongoing investigation. Despite that, we have seen over the last few days various malicious leaks and grim rumors flying around about Jamal’s whereabouts and fate.

“I would normally prefer not to address such outrageous claims, especially when it concerns the wellbeing of a missing citizen who dedicated a great portion of his life to serve his country. It goes without saying that his family in the Kingdom remain gravely concerned about him, and so are we. Jamal has many friends in the Kingdom, including myself, and despite our differences, and his choice to go into his so called “self-exile,” we still maintained regular contact when he was in Washington.

“I know many in Washington, and the world over share this concern for his wellbeing. I assure you that the reports that suggest that Jamal Khashoggi went missing in the Consulate in Istanbul or that the Kingdom’s authorities have detained him or killed him are absolutely false, and baseless. The first reports out of Turkey were that he exited the Consulate and then disappeared. Shortly after the relevant authorities in the Kingdom became engaged in his case, the accusations changed to him being held inside the Consulate. After Turkish authorities and the media were allowed to inspect the Consulate building in its entirety, the accusations changed to the outrageous claim that he was murdered, in the Consulate, during business hours, and with dozens of staff and visitors in the building. I don’t know who is behind these claims, or their intentions, nor do I care frankly.

“What we do care about is Jamal’s wellbeing, and revealing the truth about what occurred. Jamal is a Saudi citizen who went missing after leaving the Consulate. This was not his first visit to the Consulate in Istanbul, as he regularly came to the Consulate (as well as the Embassy in Washington) in the last few months for citizen services. The Saudi Consulate is fully cooperating with the local authorities to uncover what happened after he left.

“In addition, the Kingdom has sent a security team, with the Turkish government’s approval, to work with their Turkish counterparts on the investigation. Our aim is to chase every lead to uncover the truth behind his disappearance.

“Though the situation is extraordinary, these measures are not. Jamal is a Saudi citizen whose safety and security is a top priority for the Kingdom, just as is the case with any other citizen. We will not spare any effort to locate him, just as we would if it were any other Saudi citizen.”

Arab News

http://www.arabnews.com/node/1385141/saudi-arabia

Turkish newspaper names 15 Saudis in Khashoggi case

October 10, 2018

Human rights activists hold pictures of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct 9, 2018.

Saudi Arabia has dismissed as baseless accusations that it killed or abducted Khashoggi.

Turkish pro-government newspaper Sabah said on Wednesday it had identified a 15-member intelligence team it said was involved in the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

emAA Photo/em
Saudi Consulate in Istanbul
A human rights activist holds picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 9, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

Khashoggi was last seen a week ago entering the consulate in Istanbul to get documents related to his forthcoming marriage. His fiancée, waiting outside, said he never emerged and Turkish sources said they believe Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi policies, was killed inside the mission.

Saudi Arabia has dismissed as baseless accusations that it killed or abducted Khashoggi. Saudi authorities have so far not commented on the 15 nationals reported to have come to Turkey.


Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman (Francois Mori/AP)

A Turkish security source had previously told Reuters that a group of 15 Saudi nationals, including some officials, arrived in Istanbul and entered the consulate on Oct. 2, the same day Khashoggi was there, and later left the country.

Sabah newspaper published the names and years of birth of 15 Saudis it said arrived at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on Oct. 2. Twelve of them arrived early on the Tuesday, based on photos captured at passport control which it published. The 15 departed at four different times, Sabah reported.

It did not say how it obtained the pictures and data.

Image result for free speech, photos, tape over mouth

The report also said that the Saudis stayed at the Wyndham and Movenpick hotels in Istanbul, in the same neighborhood as the Saudi consulate. Both hotels declined to comment on the report.

One of the men identified by name and photo in the Sabah report is a Saudi forensic expert, according to Saudi media reports, and is on the board of the Saudi Society of Forensic Medicine.

Accusations, denials in search for Saudi journalist

Turkish NTV broadcast videos of what it said were the men arriving at the airport and checking into one hotel, as well as videos of what it said was a large van arriving at the consul general’s residence two hours after Khashoggi had entered the consulate.

Reporting by Daren Butler, Additional reporting by Stephen Kalin, Writing by Sarah Dadouch; Editing by Dominic Evans and Andrew Heavens

Reuters

Picture at top:

Human rights activists hold pictures of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, on Oct 9, 2018.PHOTO: REUTERS

Related:

How Trump enabled the abuses of Saudi Arabia’s crown prince

https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/global-opinions/too-close-of-an-embrace-of-prince-mohammed/2018/10/09/dacd8658-cbe0-11e8-a360-85875bac0b1f_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.72921651fee9