Missing journalist reportedly killed in 'barbaric way' at Saudi consulate

Missing journalist reportedly killed in 'barbaric way' at Saudi consulate

Khashoggi's fiance Hatice Cengiz believes that Khashoggi was not killed.

His disappearance has threatened to upend already-fraught relations between Saudi Arabia and Turkey, and it raises new questions about the kingdom and the actions of its assertive Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, whom Khashoggi wrote critically about in his columns.

It said Saudi Arabia sent a team of investigators to help look into the case.

Their diplomatic bags could not be opened, a security source told MEE, but Turkish intelligence was sure that Khashoggi's remains were not in them.

"Prince Mohammed explained that this strategy is applied to several countries, but it shifted to the U.S. after Trump came to power", he said.

"I love the king, King Salman, but I said, 'King, we're protecting you".

Trump and his administration have not commented on the fate of Khashoggi, whom Saudi Arabia insists left the Saudi consulate. The detailed plan for Saudi Vision 2030 involves the objective of broadening the economic horizons of Saudi Arabia, primarily by leading the country from its conventional outlook as being only an oil-rich economy.

Mr Khashoggi, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Washington for the past year fearing retribution for his criticism of Saudi policies, entered the consulate last Tuesday to secure documents for his forthcoming marriage, according to his fiancee, who waited outside.

Turkey's state-run news agency, quoting police, says 15 Saudi nationals arrived in Istanbul on two planes and were inside the consulate building when Khashoggi went missing.

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. Both spoke on condition of anonymity as the investigation was ongoing.

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Fred Hiatt, the director of the Washington Post's editorial page, said if the reports were true "it is a monstrous and unfathomable act".

Erdogan said that he hoped to have the results "very quickly" over the incident involving a "journalist I knew for a long time" and a "friend".

Turkish officials have been drip-feeding details in the astonishing case of his alleged Saudi state-sponsored abduction and murder, but have yet to fulfil promises to release evidence relating to a black auto that left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on the same day Khashoggi vanished last week.

Khashoggi, 59, went missing last Tuesday while visiting the consulate for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancée.

Prince Mohammed had in an interview with Bloomberg said that the journalist had left the consulate and Turkish authorities could search the building, which is Saudi sovereign territory. 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.

Erdogan said he was personally following the issue, without saying what he believed had happened to Khashoggi. The private Turkish broadcaster, NTV, reported on Monday that police had requested access to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said on Twitter that if reports of his death were confirmed, "this would constitute a horrific, utterly deplorable, and absolutely unacceptable assault on press freedom".

His disappearance is likely to further deepen divisions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

On Wednesday, Saudi Arabian Military Industries' (SAMI) Chief Executive Andreas Schwer said he expected to finalize the first partnership deals with South African arms companies by the end of the year, without mentioning the initial partners by name.

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