Khashoggi 'hit squad' included a forensics expert and a former diplomat

12 October, 2018, 00:51 | Author: Orlando Hughes
  • Saudi consulate in Istanbul Turkey

The prince promised social and economic reform, but Khashoggi pointed to the escalating crackdown on dissent voices and the media in Saudi Arabia.

The Saudis have called the allegations "baseless", insisting Khashoggi left the building through an exit that wasn't the main building.

Fears are growing over the fate of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi after Turkish officials said they believe he was murdered inside the Saudi consulate.

According to The Washington Post, where Khashoggi was a contributor, he visited the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week to get a document for his upcoming wedding.

Khashoggi, 59, who was once close to the Saudi royal family and has served as an adviser for senior Saudi officials, left the country a year ago to live in the United States in self-imposed exile, saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Saudi policy in the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent. "We believe that the murder was premeditated and the body was subsequently moved out of the consulate", one Turkish official told Reuters. Cengiz called on President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to "help shed light" on Khashoggi's disappearance.

Saudi officials talking to state media have said that the journalist left the consulate after his visit, denying the Turkish claims.

"If this is true - that the Saudis lured a United States resident into their consulate and murdered him - it should represent a fundamental break in our relationship with Saudi Arabia", he tweeted Sunday.

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Landslides, severely damaged roads and other challenges have made it hard to assess the full extent of the disaster. Inhabitants of more remote, rural areas have complained of a lack of aid and support since the tragedy.

He also questioned assertions by Saudi authorities that the consulate does not have footage of Khashoggi leaving the building as the mission's security cameras only provide live footage and do not record images. "It's not possible for us to stay silent regarding an incident like this", Erdogan said.

The announcement came as the Washington Post published a surveillance image of Mr Khashoggi walking into the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. "We want to find out what happened".

The disappearance of the 59-year-old journalist has sparked global concern for his welfare. Its passengers checked into two hotels near the consulate and booked rooms until October 5.

Spokesman Ibrahim Kalin says the proposal to set up the committee was made by Saudi Arabia.

Britain is a close ally and trade partner of Saudi Arabia. "We're working with Turkey, and frankly we're working with Saudi Arabia", the U.S. president said in an interview on the Fox News.

"We would like to know exactly what happened inside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul and the circumstances surrounding his disappearance", said Mohamed Okad, a friend of Khashoggi and founder of Insight into Crisis, a conflict advisory group.

The Post, citing anonymous USA officials familiar with the intelligence, said Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman ordered an operation to lure Mr Khashoggi from his home in Virginia, where he lived most recently, to Saudi Arabia and then detain him.

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