Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

Turkey Claims Saudis Killed, Chopped Up Journalist — NY Times

Jamal Khashoggi's fianc Jamal Khashoggi's fiancée Hatice waited outside the Saudi consulate on Wednesday
Kenny Thornton | 11 October, 2018, 16:58

Mr Khashoggi had gone to the consulate to collect divorce papers relating to his previous marriage, leaving his fiancee with his Saudi phone on the street outside.

"It is like 'Pulp Fiction, '" the official told the Times.

He said police were examining CCTV footage of entrances and exits at the consulate and Istanbul airport.

The Washington Post said it would be a "monstrous and unfathomable act" if he had been killed.

No evidence has been presented.

When was he last seen? Before entering the consulate, he told his fiancé, who was going to wait in the vehicle, that if he was not out within 20 minutes, she should alert the Turkish authorities.

Mr Khashoggi was last seen visiting the consulate last week and Turkey says he may have been murdered there.

The Sabah newspaper, which is close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, published images of what it referred to as the "assassination squad" apparently taken at passport control.

"Jamal is not dead. I don't know how I can keep living if he was abducted or killed in Turkey". On Sunday, another official assessed it as "high probability" that Khashoggi was killed in the consulate and his body was taken away.

The discrepancy between the multiple anonymous allegations to the news media and top officials' public reticence raised questions about whether Ankara would stand behind the leaks or whether it was seeking to avoid what could be a hugely disruptive fight with Riyadh.

What have the Saudis said?

The Post reported Wednesday evening that USA intelligence intercepts outlined a Saudi plan to detain Khashoggi.

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On Wednesday, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told Bloomberg News that Turkish authorities were welcome to search the building because "we have nothing to hide".

"People who have long thought of themselves as Saudi's friends are saying this is a very, very serious matter", Jeremy Hunt said. It's video evidence, photos and intelligence against a claim of innocence so far not backed up. Ankara's relationship with Riyadh is too important to jeopardise on the basis of unsubstantiated rumour.

US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said that the State Department has been communicating with Saudi Arabia regarding the issue and is calling on Saudi Arabia to support an investigation.

There are plenty of gruesome rumours flying around over what happened to Jamal Khashoggi.

"They must give a transparent explanation very quickly, otherwise the tide will quickly turn against them".

On Saturday, Yasin Aktay, Erdogan's AK Party adviser and a friend of Khashoggi, told Qatari broadcaster Al Jazeera: "We demand a convincing clarification from Saudi Arabia, and what the crown prince offered is not convincing".

The crown prince has unveiled reforms praised by the West while carrying out an apparent crackdown on dissent.

"The request that America made to Saudi Arabia and other OPEC countries is to be sure that if there is any loss of supply from Iran, that we will supply that".

He had been living in the United States in a self-imposed exile since a year ago, in part due to the rise of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, the son of King Salman.

Jeremy Hunt has warned Saudi Arabia that "friendships depend on shared values" after questioning the country's ambassador over the disappearance of a journalist.

Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia past year saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Saudi policy over the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent, and since then wrote columns for the Washington Post newspaper.

"I have left my home, my family and my job, and I am raising my voice", he wrote in September 2017. However, many officials who provided information earlier in the inquiry, were on Tuesday refusing to speak, citing political sensitivities.

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