Monday, 19 November, 2018

Saudi agent seen on video leaving consulate wearing missing journalist's clothing

18 Saudi suspects should be tried in Istanbul: Erdogan on Khashoggi murder Saudi agent seen on video leaving consulate wearing missing journalist's clothing
Pablo Mccormick | 23 October, 2018, 21:07

"All evidence gathered shows that Jamal Khashoggi was the victim of a savage murder".

"As we all know these are hard days for us in the kingdom of Saudi Arabia", Energy Minister Khalid Al-Falih told attendees seated in an ornate hall during the opening of the conference in Riyadh.

At the time of his disappearance, he lived in the United States of America in a self-imposed exile, writing regular columns for the Washington Post newspaper.

He told fiancé Hatice Cengiz, who waited outside the consulate, to raise the alarm if he failed to return after more than four hours.

Global skepticism intensified after Saudi Arabia said on Saturday that Khashoggi died in a brawl.

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Before Erdogan's announcement, top Turkish officials said Turkey would clarify exactly what happened to Khashoggi as pressure increased on Saudi Arabia, which is hosting a glitzy investment conference this week that many dignitaries have made a decision to skip because of the scandal.

The journalist's remains were found in the garden of the Consul General's home in Istanbul, Sky News reported, citing legal and political sources. There was no attempt to interrogate him.

He warned Western states against repeating the mistakes of the 1970s when they ignored the Shah of Iran's human rights abuses before the 1979 Islamic revolution saw him overthrown and replaced with a hardline regime.

The Saudis blame a fistfight that escalated out of control, but in a highly anticipated speech on Tuesday, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan asserted that the "brutal" killing had been planned days before Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

He and Khashoggi's brother Sahel were also greeted by Saudi King Salman, after the royals invited them to the palace to offer their condolences.

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They are accused of being sent to Istanbul for the goal of capturing or killing Mr Khashoggi, but Saudi state TV claimed they were just tourists.

Prince Mohammed has come under mounting pressure, with critics suspecting he ordered the high-profile operation or at least knew about it. Saudi authorities say they have arrested 18 suspects and dismissed senior officials.

In his final column for The Washington Post, Mr Khashoggi warned that Middle Eastern governments "have been given free rein to continue silencing the media".

The Future Investment Initiative forum is the brainchild of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, aimed at drawing more foreign investment into the kingdom and to help create desperately needed jobs for its youthful population.

Omar Abdelaziz, a Saudi dissident activist now living in Canada, said he was collaborating on a number of campaigns with Khashoggi and that the latter had been attacked on Twitter by people he referred to as "electronic flies".

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