Sunday, 26 May, 2019

Turkey Will Investigate Saudi Consulate After Man Disappears

Turkey demands convincing explanation on 'missing' Saudi journalist Canada concerned over reports Saudi journalist killed - The Jakarta Post
Deanna Wagner | 11 October, 2018, 14:38

Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeted, "I pray Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is alive".

News agency Anadolu later reported that a private plane that had arrived from Saudi Arabia at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport was searched last Tuesday, the day Khashoggi was last seen.

Turkish authorities are examining motorway cameras in the search for a black van they believe carried the body of Jamal Khashoggi from the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week - one of six cars investigators say belonged to a Saudi hit squad thought to be behind the suspected murder of the dissident journalist. They are also calling on Saudi and Turkish authorities to cooperate with one another to fully investigate this case.

Turkish officials have suggested Khashoggi was murdered.

"We called a few other places, these are lower officials, but they said: "We have evidence he was killed in a barbaric way, we will announce it tomorrow or the day after".

"We call for cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and to make the findings public", United Nations human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told reporters in Geneva.

Saudi officials have denied allegations that Khashoggi was killed at the consulate, calling them "baseless".

Turkish authorities say Mr Khashoggi was killed.

Khashoggi, a wealthy former government insider who had been living in the self-imposed exile, had gone to the consulate in Istanbul on October 2 to get paperwork he needed for his upcoming marriage while his Turkish fiancee waited outside.

He has not been heard of since.

Saudi officials have denied any involvement in Khashoggi's disappearance and alleged murder, saying he left the consulate on October 2. "Canadian officials are actively seeking more information", Adam Austen, a spokesman for Canadian Foreign Minister Chrystia Freeland. The Post, which first published the photo, said "a person close to the investigation" shared the image with them, without elaborating.

United Nations human rights experts called Tuesday for an investigation into the disappearance of Saudi journalist and government critic Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul.

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Turkish officials made the accusation on Sunday.

TRT World's Ben Tornquist reports. But after writing critically on the crackdown following crown prince Mohammed bin Salman's rise to power, he left Saudi Arabia in self-imposed exile for the USA, where he became a regular commentator on Saudi affairs and foreign policy for The Washington Post.

"If the government of Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has evidence of such a horrific crime, it should immediately make it available to the family and other interested parties", the Post wrote in a Monday editorial.

Mr Khashoggi had gone to the consulate to collect divorce papers relating to his previous marriage, leaving his fiancee with his Saudi phone on the street outside.

"We are aware of and concerned by these reports".

But speaking to reporters afterward, Erdogan said he was awaiting a prosecutor's investigation about what had happened to Khashoggi.

Allegations have since swirled over the whereabouts of Khashoggi, who is a well-known critic of the Saudi government and lives in exile. "It is (the duty) of the consulate officials", Erdogan said during a visit to Hungary.

"The condition of the lost journalist, details on him and who is responsible for this will be uncovered", Omer Celik said.

The Foreign Office would face charges of hypocrisy if, after its outrage over the attempted assassination by Russian Federation of the former spy Sergei Skripal in Salisbury, it remained silent over an alleged murder by the Saudi government.

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. When asked if he would return home again Khashoggi said: "I don't think... I can speak when so many cannot".

"We demand from the global community to pressure Saudi Arabia and Mohammed bin Salman to tell us exactly what happened".

"That is effectively terminating consular relations between Saudi Arabia on Turkish territory", Professor Saul said.