Wednesday, 16 January, 2019


Turkish police focus on 7 suspects in Khashoggi case

Turkish police focus on 7 suspects in Khashoggi case Turkish police focus on 7 suspects in Khashoggi case
Bennie Garza | 09 October, 2018, 22:58

Fears are growing over the fate of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi after Turkish officials said they believe he was murdered inside the Saudi consulate.

Turkish officials say missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was killed at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul; State Department correspondent Rich Edson reports.

But some suspect the investigation will not yield substantial answers.

The 59-year-old Khashoggi went missing while on a visit to the consulate in Istanbul for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancee.

The Foreign Office has never had any illusions that the Saudi economic and social modernisation programme under the crown prince Mohammed Bin Salman, the de facto ruler, includes any commitment to free expression or a turn towards democracy.

Trump, speaking at the White House, said he did not know details about Khashoggi's disappearance.

The search will take place as part of the official investigation, which was being conducted "in an intense manner", he said without giving any date.

Yasin Aktay, who advises Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan in his ruling AK Party, told Reuters that Turkish authorities believed a group of 15 Saudi nationals were "most certainly involved" in the matter, and added that statements by Saudi officials on the absence of camera records were not honest.

Protesters gathered outside the Saudi consulate Monday demanding to know what had happened to Khashoggi.

In addition, Saudi media are claiming that the woman named "Khadijah" is "promoting herself as Jamal's fiancé", but is not known to Jamal's family and she is not his fiancé.

While living in Saudi Arabia, Khashoggi was told to stop writing or posting on Twitter, where he has more than 1.6 million followers.

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. Flight records reportedly show the group flew into Istanbul on two private flights Tuesday, and the delegation was at the consulate at the same time as Khashoggi.

His firsthand knowledge of the region and nexus with all kinds of people wielding authority made him suitable to be handpicked in an advisory capacity for the Saudi intelligence and he regularly advised the Saudi intelligence chief, Prince Turki al Faisal on sensitive matters.

Reuters' Turkish sources did not say how they thought Khashoggi was killed.

Turkish Foreign Ministry said on Tuesday that an examination will be carried out in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and that Saudi authorities were open to cooperation.

Recall that in June of past year, several Arab states - including Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Egypt and United Arab Emirates (UAE) - broke relations with Qatar and imposed an air, sea and land blockade on Qatar.

The issue threatens to strain the close relationship Prince Mohammed has forged with the Trump administration, which until now has been willing to turn a blind eye to alleged Saudi human rights violations in Yemen, where it leads a coalition bombing Houthi rebels that has killed thousands of civilians. He has not been heard from since October 2, when he entered a Saudi Arabian consulate in Turkey to receive marriage paperwork.

"And that happened", the crown prince told Bloomberg on Friday in a wide-ranging interview.

There he wrote opinion pieces for the Washington Post and continued to appear on Arab and Western TV channels.

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