Trump says he’ll talk to Saudis about missing journalist

Oct 10, 2018, 01:51
Trump says he’ll talk to Saudis about missing journalist

"The Saudi authorities have notified that they are open to cooperation in this regard and that the examination can be conducted in their consular buildings in Istanbul".

The disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has sent a chilling message to dissidents overseas, stoking fears among activists of a broadening crackdown beyond the kingdom's borders.

A leading critic of the Saudi kingdom's leadership, Khashoggi had not been seen since entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey, last Tuesday to secure documentation for his forthcoming marriage.

On a positive note, the bad crime in Turkey should at least put Saudi Arabia under closer scrutiny.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor and U.S. resident, had written articles critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

The private DHA agency said the planes, which it identified as a two Gulfstreams belonging to a Riyadh-based company that hires private jets, landed at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport on the day Khashoggi vanished.

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Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said the Saudis need to provide evidence to support their claim that he left the consulate.

Khashoggi (59) was last seen entering the Consulate on Tuesday. By the time the Post published the blank column, there was still hope that he was being held inside the consulate and would be released. Jamal is a Saudi citizen who went missing after leaving the Consulate. Security camera footage shows boxes being loaded into the van, which carried diplomatic number plates.

A senior Turkish police source told Middle East Eye that police believed that Khashoggi was "brutally tortured, killed and cut into pieces" inside the consulate after visiting the building on October 2.

WhatsApp records show Khashoggi last viewed his messages on his United States cell phone at 1.06pm on Tuesday, around the time he entered the embassy.

The Saudis have offered no evidence that he did leave.

Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, warned against governments attacking journalists outside their countries.

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Yemeni Nobel Prize victor Tawakkol Karman, centre, participates at a demonstration for Khashoggi that was organized by the Turkish-Arabic Media Association in front of the Saudi Arabian Consulate in Istanbul on Friday. Saudi Arabia's crown prince Mohammed bin Salman told Bloomberg in an interview Friday that Turkish authority could search their consulate, as they had "nothing to hide".

Over the past year Khashoggi used his platform as a Washington Post columnist to criticize the policies of Saudi Arabia's powerful young crown prince, from the war in Yemen to the arrest of women's rights advocates. All those issues have been viewed as being pushed by Prince Mohammed, who similarly has led roundups of activists, businessmen and others in the kingdom. The consulate has also denied that Khashoggi was abducted. "If he left, you must prove this, you will prove this, even if it's with visuals".

"Do you not have cameras and everything of the sort?" Then why do you not prove this?

A Turkish official said Saudi Arabia's envoy to Ankara had been summoned to the foreign ministry for a second time on Sunday. Both spoke on condition of anonymity as the investigation was ongoing.

Ties between Ankara and Riyadh are at a low point over Turkey's support for Qatar in its year-long dispute with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations.

According to Amnesty International, Saudi Arabia's public prosecutor is seeking the death penalty against her and her husband, and three other rights activists. "I don't like hearing about it", Trump told reporters on Monday. "I do not like it".

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