Saudis murdered journalist in Istanbul consulate, says Turkey

Geneva Stokes
October 7, 2018

A Saudi source at the consulate denied that Khashoggi had been killed at the mission and said in a statement that the accusations were baseless.

Turkish police claimed on Saturday that a prominent Saudi Arabian journalist critical of the kingdom's rulers was murdered in its consulate in Istanbul. Ankara says there has been no evidence to corroborate the claim.

Turkish prosecutors are probing the link between their visit and Khashoggi's disappearance, he said. He also stressed that with the support of Washington Saudi Arabia is "totally safe", but "without us, who knows what's going to happen".

An official, speaking to Reuters news agency, said Jamal Khashoggi was killed in a premeditated murder and his body removed from the consulate.

He first visited the consulate on September 28 to obtain a document related to his upcoming wedding, according to his fiancee and friends.

His Turkish fiancée Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting outside for him on Tuesday, says he never re-emerged.

Over the past year, he has written columns for newspapers including the Washington Post criticising Saudi policies towards Qatar and Canada, the war in Yemen and a crackdown on dissent which has seen dozens of people detained.

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

The source noted "Saudi Arabia's appreciation for the brotherly Turkish government's acceptance of the request". "It was a preplanned murder". Both spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss the ongoing investigation.

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Some have speculated that Khashoggi's body may have been removed from the country.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, "did not come back out" of the building, police had told the state-run Anadolu news agency.

President Recep Tayyip Erdogan is expected to release a statement on Sunday, according to The Guardian.

"His entry has been determined but his exit has not been determined".

A spokesman for Turkey's ruling AK Party said Saturday that authorities would finally uncover Khashoggi's whereabouts.

"The 33-year-old crown prince went on to say that Saudi Arabia had agreed to buy $110 billion worth of U.S. weapons and signed investment deals worth billions more, some "$400 billion" in total, since Trump took office in early 2017, and described the deals as "a good achievement" for Trump.

"We protect Saudi Arabia". Under direction from the crown prince, Saudi authorities have carried out hundreds of arrests under the banner of national security, rounding up clerics, business executives and even women's rights advocates.

Once regarded as close to the Saudi establishment, he was a frequent defender of the kingdom's policies. He was living in the US for the past year in self-imposed exile following the ascension of Prince Mohammed, now next in line to succeed his father, the 82-year-old King Salman.

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