Turkey believes journalist killed in Saudi consulate
07 October, 2018, 18:41 | Author: Trevor Moore
A prominent Saudi journalist and critic of the regime was murdered at the country's consulate in Istanbul last week by a 15-member team sent specifically for the objective, Turkish officials claimed yesterday.
An official statement attributed to an unnamed official from the Saudi consulate said Saudi investigators arrived in Istanbul on Saturday with the consent of Turkish authorities to assist in the investigation "regarding the disappearance of the Saudi citizen".
'The initial assessment of the Turkish police is that Mr. Khashoggi has been killed at the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Istanbul, ' a Turkish official said.
Saudi Arabia's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said this week that the kingdom would allow Turkey to search the consulate for Khashoggi.
Turan Kislakci, a friend of Khashoggi and the head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association, told AP on Sunday that officials also told him they "have evidence he was killed in a barbaric way" and dismembered.
In addition, Mr Khashoggi has criticised Saudi Arabia's role in Yemen, where Riyadh is supporting the government in its war with rebels backed by Iran.
Washington Post editorial page editor and colleague of Khashoggi, Fred Hiatt said that if it had indeed occurred, the murder was a "monstrous and unfathomable act". Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.
Khashoggi fled the country in September 2017, months after Prince Mohammed was appointed heir to the throne and amid a campaign that saw dozens of dissidents arrested, including intellectuals and Islamic preachers.
Turkish prosecutors have begun an investigation into the case, officials said on Saturday, and a spokesman for Erdogan's AK Party said authorities would uncover his whereabouts.
He reached the consulate on Tuesday to secure documentation for a forthcoming marriage, according to his fiancée, who waited outside.
The Committee to Protect Journalists said it was alarmed by reports Khashoggi may have been killed inside the consulate.
"We will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do. we have nothing to hide", MBS told Bloomberg on Friday.
He added: "If America cares about Saudi Arabia, they should be anxious about Saudi Arabia".
"We hope not to come across an undesirable situation about missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi", he noted, adding that whatever came of this, "we will be the ones to declare it to the world."
Saudi officials say he left shortly afterwards but his fiancee, who was waiting outside, said he never came out. "Jamal is not at the consulate nor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the consulate and the embassy are working to search for him", the consul-general, Mohammed al-Otaibi, was quoted as saying. He writes out of a sense of love for his country and deep faith in human dignity and freedom, ' Hiatt said in a statement on the U.S. newspaper's website.
Rather, he has always been a pillar of the Saudi establishment who was close to its ruling circles for decades, had worked as an editor at Saudi news outlets and had been an adviser to a former Saudi intelligence chief.
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