Published: Thu, October 11, 2018
Worldwide | By Myra Stephens

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

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

It remains unclear how the Turkish government determined Khashoggi had been killed, but the conclusion the Saudi royal court ordered the hit could increase the pressure on both sides of the dispute, the Times reported.

Decades of close U.S. -Saudi relations, which have only intensified under Trump, appeared in jeopardy by the suggestion of a carefully plotted murder of a government critic, Jamal Khashoggi, 59, who disappeared a week ago after entering a Saudi consulate in Turkey.

"We call for cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the circumstances of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance and to make the findings public", United Nations human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a Geneva news briefing. Saudi Arabia has denied the allegations.

The Turkish Foreign Ministry has submitted a request to get the permission to inspect the Saudi consulate in Istanbul as part of the investigations of the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi last week after entering the consulate.

A report Monday in the daily newspaper Sabah said investigators were also focused on a convoy of diplomatic vehicles that departed from the consulate on the day Khashoggi vanished.

'Although my hope slowly fades away each passing day, I remain confident that Jamal is still alive, ' Cengiz wrote.

"The reason given to the Turkish employees to take the day off was there was an important diplomatic meeting", a Turkish source told MEE. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., said it would be time for the U.S.to rethink its relationship with Saudi Arabia if it turned out Khashoggi was lured to his death by the Saudis.

Saudi Arabia, while not yet being an official North Atlantic Treaty Organisation member, is a prominent USA partner. "Such an assassination within the grounds of the Consulate, which is territory under Saudi Arabian jurisdiction, would amount to an extrajudicial execution", said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International's Mideast research director.

In an op-ed published by the Post late Tuesday, Khashoggi's fiancée wrote that the October 2 visit to the Saudi consulate was Khashoggi's second in the space of a few days.

He also called for Saudi Arabia to provide evidence, like surveillance footage, that proves the journalist left the consulate building safely. The CCTV image, obtained by the Washington Post, was reportedly leaked by somebody "close to the investigation". "We are fully aligned with the United States on this, with the U.S. position on this", she said.

"His criticism, voiced over the past year, most surely rankles Mohammed bin Salman, who was elevated to crown prince last year and has carried out a wide-ranging campaign to silence dissent while trying to modernize the kingdom", the Post editorial read. "We are now investigating the event in all its dimensions".

Human and women's rights activists, intellectuals and clerics have been arrested - meanwhile, Saudi Arabia is waging a war in Yemen that has triggered a humanitarian crisis.

He proposed the Saudi people pave the ground for transferring power to Ahmed bin Abdulaziz, the Saudi King Salman's younger brother who is in exile in Britain, and form a new government based on the constitution.

Asked about the case while speaking with reporters outside the White House on Monday, Trump replied, "I am concerned about it".

The interview was conducted three days before Khashoggi's disappearance, when he was in London for a conference, the BBC said.

Turkey's Anadolu Agency also reported that the group of Saudis were briefly at the consulate.

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