Tuesday, 23 April, 2019

Did Crown Prince Order Murder of Saudi Journalist?

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was last seen a week ago before entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi was last seen a week ago before entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul Credit Hasan Jamali AP
Patty Aguilar | 14 October, 2018, 17:28

The Qatar Press Centre has said it is deeply concerned over the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi after he had entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul and was alleged to have been brutally killed there.

The harsh words from the longtime lawmaker and close confidant of President Donald Trump, who discussed Khashoggi's disappearance shortly after Graham did, could indicate a forthcoming strain on the good will built between the USA and Saudi Arabia during the Trump administration. "I think we'll get to the bottom of it". 'In fact we have a call in to his wife, in fact his wife wrote a letter addressed to my wife and myself and we're in contact with her now and we want to bring her to the White House.' Trump was referring to Khashoggi's fancee. Erdogan added that US President Donald Trump had also voiced his worries over the matter.

Turkish officials have said they believe he was murdered there. However, it too has offered no evidence to support its claim the writer simply walked out of its consulate and vanished despite his fiancée waiting outside for him.

Meanwhile, Trump told reporters in the Oval Office that he has a call in to Khashoggi's fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, who has appealed to the president and first lady Melania Trump for help.

The Post quoted a Turkish official as saying authorities suspect a 15-member team killed the journalist at the consulate. TV channels broadcast videos of what they said were the men arriving at the airport and checking into hotels, as well as footage of auto traffic outside the consulate before and after Khashoggi's disappearance, including a black van with blacked out windows that the police find suspicious.

Jamal Khashoggi has not been seen since lunchtime on Tuesday.

Saudi intelligence noticed the watch on Khashoggi's wrist "and tried to erase some files", the paper said.

Information continues to trickle out through Turkish media about the 15-man Saudi team previously described as an "assassination squad".

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Mr Erdogan has not accused Saudi Arabia of being responsible for Khashoggi's disappearance but has said that if the Saudis have footage of him leaving the consulate they should release it.

The Washington Post, for which Khashoggi was a contributor, published a surveillance image Tuesday showing the Saudi reporter at the consulate.

Earlier, Turkish newspaper Sabah reported the missing Saudi journalist recorded the consulate episode on his smartwatch and the "interrogation, torture and possible killing was recorded and automatically sent to both his iPhone and cloud account".

The footage shows some of the Saudis leaving a hotel and Khashoggi entering the consulate, walking past a black Mercedes van with diplomatic plates parked adjacent to the entrance.

Aksam newspaper's editor-in-chief Murat Kelkitlioglu speculated on 24 TV that it was "almost certain" that Khashoggi had been taken in the vehicle.

Several sponsors and media groups have made a decision to pull out of this month's investment conference in Riyadh, dubbed Davos in the Desert, as a result of concerns over Mr Khashoggi's fate. Two others flew out commercially, Sabah said. It's unclear when such a search would take place. The senator called that statement "not credible" and he said it's now up to the Saudi government to clarify the situation.

However, President Trump in the same interview said: "As of this moment, they deny it and they deny it vehemently".

The Kentucky Republican said he hopes Trump will support stronger measures against Saudi Arabia "if there is any evidence they killed this journalist". "When I hear of the arrest of a friend who did nothing that (deserved being) arrested, it makes me feel I shouldn't go", he told the BBC.

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