Published: Mon, October 08, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Turkey investigates claims that Saudis killed journalist

Turkey investigates claims that Saudis killed journalist

Saudi police officers came to the consulate building on Sunday, and stayed inside for two hours, according to an Anadolu Agency correspondent on the ground. He said he believes Turkish officials soon will announce the findings of their investigation.

Officials have said "the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate".

The sources did not say how they believed the killing was carried out.

Khashoggi, a critic of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman and Saudi Arabia's intervention in Yemen, has been living in exile in the United States to avoid arrest.

A former newspaper editor in Saudi Arabia and adviser to its former head of intelligence, Khashoggi left the country a year ago saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Saudi policy in the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent.

A spokesman for the European Commission said it was looking into the journalist's disappearance: "We have asked for and we are awaiting clarifications from the Saudi authorities on the fate of Mr. Khashoggi".

Saudi Consul-General Mohammad al-Otaibi told Reuters on Saturday that the consulate's own security cameras showed only a live stream and did not record footage, so they could not provide evidence of Khashoggi's movements.

So what do we know about the journalist?

Late on Saturday, Turkish sources told Reuters that Turkish authorities believed Khashoggi had been killed inside the consulate last week, in what they described as the deliberate targeting of a prominent critic of the Gulf kingdom's rulers.

"We are ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises", he said, adding that "we will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do..."

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Khashoggi had gone to the consulate to obtain documents needed to marry his Turkish fiancee.

"It is very, very upsetting for us that it happened in our country", he lamented.

Kislakci also alleged, based on conversations with officials he did not name, that Khashoggi was made to "faint", then was dismembered.

A tweet over human rights by Canada's foreign affairs department in August sparked a diplomatic feud between Canada and Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi fled the country in September 2017, months after Prince Mohammed was appointed heir to the throne, amid a campaign that saw dozens of dissidents arrested, including intellectuals and Islamic preachers. "Their foreign policy is based on a single doctrine: establishing the supremacy of Saudi Arabia in order to make it the sole arbiter of Arab affairs and the main point of entry for all worldwide powers into the region", wrote Madawi al-Rasheed, a Britain-based academic and critic of the Saudi government, in a new collection of essays on the kingdom.

His foreign policy moves have been extremely aggressive, including his military support of the government in Yemen against Iranian-backed Houthi rebels and nearly going to war with Qatar due to their support of the Iranian regime. Mr Khashoggi, 59, has more than 1.6 million Twitter followers and has written for the Washington Post opinion section.

The ultra-conservative kingdom in June lifted a ban on women driving, but it has drawn heavy criticism for its handling of dissent.

His criticisms appeared in both the Arab and Western press.

In a March 6 Guardian editorial co-authored with Robert Lacey, he wrote: "For his domestic reform program, the crown prince deserves praise".

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