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

Lamar Ellis
October 8, 2018

Officials said they believe 59-year-old Khashoggi's death was planned and Saudi officials had travelled to Istanbul from Riyadh after receiving word that he was going to visit the consulate to sign divorce papers. "The case would not go unsolved", he added.

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

Saudi Arabia's consul-general rejected claims about a possible abduction, telling Reuters that his country was helping search for Khashoggi.

Mr Khashoggi's fiance Hatice Cengiz, who was waiting for him outside the consulate on Tuesday, rejected news reports claiming he was killed.

Saudi authorities dismissed the allegation as "baseless".

A fierce critic of Saudi policies, the royal family and its power, Mr Khashoggi had been living in self-imposed exile in Washington for the a year ago, fearing retribution for his views.

"It would likely trigger a diplomatic crisis with Turkey as well as play into a narrative in (Washington) DC that views Saudi Arabia under MBS as prone to seemingly reckless gambits with little apparent thought for the consequences, be it the blockade of Qatar, the detention of Saad Hariri, the rupture with Canada, to say nothing of the war in Yemen".

The comments about Jamal Khashoggi come as Turkish officials are investigating his whereabouts. "He writes out of a sense of love for his country and deep faith in human dignity and freedom", Hiatt said in a statement on the United States newspaper's website.

Turkish sources quoted by Reuters and the Washington Post say they believe he has been killed inside the consulate. And with each passing day, Turkish authorities are more convinced that he will never be seen again, his life ended by Saudi agents who had lain in wait, then carried out an act of state-sanctioned murder in the heart of Istanbul. "Such an assassination within the grounds of the Consulate, which is territory under Saudi Arabian jurisdiction, would amount to an extrajudicial execution", said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International's Mideast research director.

Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks during a news conference in Manama, Bahrain, on February 1, 2015.

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The consulate also released a statement on its Twitter account yesterday denying allegations that Khashoggi was killed at the consulate.

The United States is seeking information, a State Department official said.

The Saudis have since all left Turkey, the sources added.

Yasin Aktay, an official in Turkey's ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) who was close to the journalist, said Khashoggi had made an appointment in advance with the consulate and called to check the documents were ready.

"But at the same time, the brash and abrasive young innovator has not encouraged or permitted any popular debate in Saudi Arabia about the nature of his many changes".

He travelled extensively in the Middle East, covering Algeria's 1990s war against Islamic militants, and the Islamists' rise in Sudan, even interviewing Osama bin Laden in Afghanistan before al-Qaida was formed.

However, Yasin Aktay, said to Reuters that he did not find claims by the Saudi officials about the lack of camera footage honest.

Protesters hold pictures of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a demonstration organized by Turkish-Arabic Media Association.

"I have left my home, my family and my job, and I am raising my voice", he wrote in September.

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