Tuesday, 16 October, 2018

New Reports Add Detail To Disappearance Of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

A screenshot of the report published by Turkish newspaper Sabah showing the faces of the 15 men taken at passport control A screenshot of the report published by Turkish newspaper Sabah showing the faces of the 15 men taken at passport control
Julia Gonzales | 10 October, 2018, 16:19

"In that case, Turkey would use the available mechanisms, in terms of bilateral relations and worldwide law, and call Saudi Arabia to account for its action".

A squad of 15 Saudi Arabian men reportedly flew to Turkey just in time for Khashoggi's visit to the consulate for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancée.

An unnamed senior official told the New York Times there was a complex operation in which Mr Khashoggi was killed within two hours of arriving and then dismembered.

Turkey has said it will conduct a search, but has also asked for definitive proof that Mr Khashoggi left the building.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor who has written columns critical of the kingdom's powerful Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, went missing on October 2 after entering the consulate for paperwork needed to marry his Turkish fiancée. The team arrived in Istanbul on two private planes, one of which landed after 3 a.m. (0000 GMT) on Tuesday while the second plane landed around 5 p.m. (1400 GMT) after Khashoggi entered the consulate.

Both planes later returned to Riyadh, with one stopping in Dubai and the other in Egypt, the report said, adding that the police were looking into the possibility that Khashoggi was kidnapped.

Sabah newspaper, which is close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, on Wednesday revealed the identities of what it called a "mysterious" 15-member "assassination squad" who were allegedly involved in Khashoggi's disappearance.

The kingdom has called the allegations "baseless", but has not provided any evidence that Khashoggi left the consulate and did not respond to requests for comment on Wednesday.

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Turkish officials have said they believe the Saudi writer and government critic was killed inside his country's consulate in Istanbul after he visited the mission to obtain a document required to marry his Turkish fiancee.

The newspaper also claimed that Turkish employees at the residence were "hastily" told to take a vacation on the day Khashoggi went missing.

Turkish officials fear he was killed inside the building and his body removed.

David Kaye, the United Nations special rapporteur on freedom of expression, said the disappearance of Saudi government critic Jamal Khashoggi "puts basically the Turks in the position of having both to maintain a diplomatic relationship and to deal with a real important, high-profile investigation". However, he has not been seen for more than a week, and the only closed-circuit television footage that's been released shows him entering the building but not departing. She acknowledged the writer first visited the consulate on September 28 "despite being somewhat concerned that he could be in danger".

"At this time, I implore President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal's disappearance", Ms Cengiz wrote.

Trump, who took his first overseas trip as USA president to the kingdom and whose son-in-law Jared Kushner has close ties to Prince Mohammed, said while he had not yet talked to the Saudis about Khashoggi.

A human rights activist holds picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 9, 2018.

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.

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