Tuesday, 23 October, 2018

Saudis to Turkey: Search our consulate for missing WaPo columnist, dissenter

Questions linger after journalist disappears Alleged Saudi Murder of Washington Post Columnist Prompts Calls to Halt U.S. Relations with Regime
Pablo Mccormick | 10 October, 2018, 08:58

The Turkish private NTV television said Ankara asked for permission for its investigators to search the consulate building, but a Foreign Ministry official would not confirm the report.

"Deeply troubled to hear reports about Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi".

Saudi prince Khalid bin Farhan al-Saud, who has fled to Germany after the empowerment of Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, called on people to overthrow the current rulers in Riyadh after the recent murder of prominent journalist Jamal Khashoggi by the Al-e Saud. Jamal Khashoggi has not been seen since he entered the building last week.

Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia on October 9 invited Turkish experts and relevant officials to visit its Istanbul consulate.

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The Arab21 news website reported that the author paid a visit to the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week, but was told by officials at the time to return at a later date to complete an application related to a family matter. This footage has not been officially released, but on Tuesday the Washington Post, which employs Khashoggi as a contributor, published an image that showed Khashoggi walking into the consulate building last Tuesday.

"But a good crime scene inspection or search often comes up with evidence that perpetrators bypass, it could be some small piece of DNA, or hairs and fibre - something that can be tied to the victim".

No exact timeframe was given for when the search would take place.

The mainstream is rightly starting to focus on the repressive history of the Saudi de facto leader, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, but is not emphasizing that he is also responsible for the armed onslaught against neighboring Yemen, which has killed tens of thousands of civilians, maybe more, and triggered the largest cholera epidemic in human history. "The consulate officials can not save themselves by simply saying 'he has left, '" the Turkish president added. Security camera footage shows boxes being loaded into the van, which carried diplomatic number plates. Those policies are all seen as initiatives of the crown prince, who has also presided over a roundup of activists and businessmen.

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United Nations spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani said the "apparent enforced disappearance" of Khashoggi is a matter of "deep concern" to the human rights office in a press conference in Geneva on Tuesday.

Riyadh has denied Khashoggi was killed or detained on its Istanbul premises, and claims that the veteran journalist left the consulate shortly after entering. "It is [the duty] of the consulate officials", Mr Erdogan said this week. Why don't you prove it? The Saudi government has repeatedly claimed that Khashoggi left the consulate unharmed, but his fiancee who was waiting outside said he never appeared. "You have to prove it".

A Sunni power, Saudi Arabia is also annoyed by Ankara's rapprochement with the kingdom's Shiite archrival, Iran.

Accusations the Saudi leadership directly ordered the alleged assassination of Khashoggi will put further pressure on the United States and other allies to demand a transparent investigation, with possible serious repercussions to bilateral relations if it doesn't come to fruition. US President Donald Trump has told reporters he will speak with Saudi officials to discuss the case. "Right now, nobody knows anything about it, but there's some pretty bad stories going around".

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The Foreign Office would face charges of hypocrisy if, after its outrage over the attempted assassination by Russian Federation of the former spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, it remained silent over an alleged murder by the Saudi government.

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