Friday, 14 December, 2018

Turkey believes missing Saudi journalist was murdered at Saudi consulate in Istanbul

Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks on his cellphone at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks on his cellphone at the World Economic Forum in Davos Switzerland
Kenny Thornton | 09 October, 2018, 22:57

Saudi Arabia on Sunday denied reports that Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who went missing earlier this week, was killed at the country's consulate in Istanbul, as reported by several global media.

Two Turkish sources told Reuters Turkish authorities believe Khashoggi was deliberately killed inside the consulate, a view echoed by one of Erdogan's advisers, Yasin Aktay, who is also a friend of the Saudi journalist.

Mr Trump's position is in line with the State Department whose spokeswoman Heather Nauert reiterated on Monday that the United States is "not in a position to confirm these reports, but we are closely following the situation". "We have some concrete information, it won't be an unresolved crime", the Middle East Eye reported.

Protesters hold pictures of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration organized by Turkish-Arabic Media Association.

The interview briefly touched on the Khashoggi case, with the crown prince stating he had no knowledge of the journalist's fate or whereabouts and that he had left the Istanbul consulate.

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

The sources did not say how they believed the killing was carried out. The case would not go unsolved, Aktay said.

Al Jazeera's Stefanie Dekker reports from Istanbul.

Saudi Arabia's consul in Istanbul opened his mission to Reuters on Saturday in an effort to show that Khashoggi was not on the premises.

On Friday, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Turkey could search the consulate for the missing dissident. The Post, which first published the photo, said "a person close to the investigation" shared the image with them, without elaborating.

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Saudi officials insist he left through one of the consulate's doors.

Erdogan said he would wait for the outcome of the current investigation before taking a decision. "We called a few other places, these are lower officials, but they said: 'We have evidence he was killed in a barbaric way, we will announce it tomorrow or the day after"'.

Relations between Canada and Saudi Arabia have been tense in recent months.

On Monday, a Turkish official also said Saudi Arabia's envoy to Ankara had been summoned to the foreign ministry for a second time on Sunday and had been asked by Turkish diplomats to be "in full coordination" on the matter.

Saudi Arabia, naturally, has denied any involvement. Saudi officials say the Turkish investigators' claim that Khashoggi was murdered are "baseless".

"It's very, very sad for us that this happened in our country", the Turkish president said.

Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the USA, sought to convey sympathy with carefully moderate criticism in a note to friends in English the embassy shared with reporters.

Turkish officials reportedly believe that those 12 Saudi officials killed Khashoggi in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and then transported his dead body back to Saudi Arabia. It could cause the USA and Europe to reevaluate their relationships with Saudi Arabia, and with Turkish officials so enraged by this, it could trigger a more serious response.

He is a high-profile critic of the crown prince.

But after several of his friends were arrested, his column was cancelled by the al-Hayat newspaper and he was allegedly warned to stop tweeting, Mr Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia for the US.

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