Published: Tue, October 30, 2018
World News | By Laverne Osborne

Turkey warns Saudi Arabia against stalling Jamal Khashoggi murder probe

Turkey warns Saudi Arabia against stalling Jamal Khashoggi murder probe

Turkey on Monday called on Saudi Arabia to reveal the "whole truth" about the murder of Jamal Khashoggi, as the whereabouts of the journalist's body dominated a visit to the country by Riyadh's top prosecutor.

When asked who was ultimately responsible for the killing, his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, told Reuters in Turkish: "This took place inside a Saudi diplomatic mission".

In particular, the incident has raised questions about whether Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, a target of Khashoggi's criticism, knew in advance about the gruesome plot.

After initially claiming he left the back of the building Saudi authorities have admitted Mr Khashoggi died in the consulate, though they have been unable to produce a body.

"They need to explain what happened", said Ms. Cengiz, who was sombre, guarded and appeared at times on the verge of tears.

In a veiled reference to US President Donald Trump - who has been vocal in his attacks on the press, Michelle Stanistreet, head of the UK's National Union of Journalists, described a "shocking level of state-sponsored impunity" for those who attack media workers.

Khashoggi, who had fled the kingdom recently and taken up residency in the United States, entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to retrieve paperwork that he needed to marry his Turkish fiancée.

Asked if she held Crown Prince Mohammed or the Saudi royal family responsible, she said: "I and my government would like all those responsible, from the person who gave this order to those who carried it out, to be brought to justice and punished under global law". However, Saudi Foreign Minister Adel Al Jubeir said on Saturday that the 18 suspects arrested over the killing of Khashoggi will be prosecuted in the kingdom.

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Sources have told MEE that Khashoggi was tortured, murdered and dismembered by a hit squad of 15 Saudis sent to Istanbul to kill him. "If only I knew that there were bloodthirsty, evil people waiting inside the consulate for my Jamal, I would have done all I could to prevent him from entering". Meanwhile, US Defence Secretary James Mattis said Khashoggi's murder "undermines regional stability" and that the US intends to take further action in response.

"President Trump should help reveal the truth and ensure justice be served. Jamal was my beloved fiancée, but he was also a gentle human being, a loving man, a journalist and a true believer in democracy and freedom in the Arab world", she said.

"He should not pave the way for a cover-up of my fiance's murder".

He has argued that the rulers of Saudi Arabia face a conflict of interest in overseeing any trial because the killing was ordered and directed from within the Saudi government for political reasons.

Ms Cengiz's speech at the memorial, organised in Westminster by the non-profit organisation Middle East Monitor, comes as the investigation into Mr Khashoggi's death inches forwards.

He had gone to the consulate to obtain documents proving he was divorced from his ex-wife.

"The world should know who instigated, were involved in and committed this crime".

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