Mystery of missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi still unresolved


Khashoggi’s body was chopped up into pieces, claims Turkish official

JEDDAH: The issue of missing senior Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is still unresolved despite US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo talks with King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman. He is now in Turkey on the mission to resolve this mystery.

Pompeo, sent by US President Donald Trump, had a brief meeting with the king before a lengthy, 40-minute discussion with the crown prince. “We are strong and old allies. We face our challenges together,” the crown prince said as he warmly welcomed Pompeo to the Saudi capital. Later Prince Mohammed also discussed the investigation in a phone conversation with US President Donald Trump.

 Saudi Minister of Foreign Affairs Adel Al-Jubeir also had talks with Pompeo. “The secretary and the foreign minister agreed on the importance of a thorough, transparent, and timely investigation,” State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said later.

Pompeo will meet Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in Turkey.

Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to complete paperwork related to his divorce. Saudi Arabia and Turkey have set up a joint team to investigate the disappearance.

Officers from the team searched the consulate in Istanbul for eight hours overnight on Monday, and left at 5 am on Tuesday.

Saudi denies

Saudi Arabia denied allegations regarding the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Interior Minister has said.

He said that allegations about orders to murder Khashoggi were ‘lies’ targeting the government, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get documents for his forthcoming marriage. Saudi officials have said that he left shortly afterwards but Turkish officials and his fiancée, who was waiting outside, have said that he never came out.

Saudi cabinet

Saudi Arabia’s Cabinet on Tuesday welcomed Turkey’s acceptance of the Kingdom’s request to form a joint team of specialists from both countries to investigate the circumstances behind the disappearance of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.
At a session chaired by King Salman at Al-Yamamah Palace in Riyadh, the Cabinet thanked all countries, organizations, parliaments, authorities and people who prefer the search for truth rather than jumping to conclusions, spreading rumors and making accusations.
“The Kingdom’s commitment to the UN Charter and the principles of international legitimacy are the cornerstones of its foreign policy,” the Cabinet said.

Turkish claim

A Turkish official has claimed that missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was cut up into pieces after he died two weeks ago at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. The unidentified source made the claims to CNN after it was first reported in the New York Times as the investigation into Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance heats up.

Turkish officials have said police searching the Saudi consulate have found evidence that Mr Khashoggi was killed there.

Mr Khashoggi was living in self-imposed exile in the US and writing opinion pieces for the Washington Post before he vanished.

He visited the consulate on October 2 to obtain a document confirming he had divorced his ex-wife, in order to allow him to remarry.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan told journalists on Tuesday that police sought traces of ‘toxic’ materials and suggested parts of the consulate had been recently painted.

UK reaction

Britain’s foreign secretary on Thursday warned that Saudi Arabia faces “serious consequences” if the suspicions of Turkish officials that journalist Jamal Khashoggi was murdered after entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul turn out to be true.

“People who have long thought of themselves as Saudi’s friends are saying this is a very, very serious matter.

“If these allegations are true, there will be serious consequences because our friendships and our partnerships are based on shared values,” Jeremy Hunt told AFP. “We are extremely worried,” he said.