Monday, 15 October, 2018

Trump 'concerned' about missing journalist; Saudis deny involvement

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman's policies were targeted in some of Khashoggi's work Turkey believes journalist killed in Saudi consulate
Melinda Barton | 09 October, 2018, 21:53

"Right now, nobody knows anything about it". "I do not like it", he added.

The fate of a dissident Saudi journalist who has disappeared in Istanbul, remains unknown. There are many facts regarding his whereabouts that will hopefully be revealed through the ongoing investigation.

Salah Khashoggi, the eldest son of Saudi citizen Jamal Khashoggi, who has gone missing in the Turkish city of Istanbul since Tuesday, has denounced attempts by foreign parties to politicize the disappearance of his father, which he called totally unacceptable.

Vice President Mike Pence also weighed in on Khashoggi's disappearance, saying on Twitter, "Deeply troubled to hear reports about Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi". "Violence against journalists is going up and is a grave threat to freedom of expression. I do not like it", he told reporters at the White House.

Turkey said on Tuesday it will search the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul as part of an investigation into the disappearance of a missing Saudi contributor to The Washington Post, a week after he vanished during a visit there.

During a press conference in Hungary on Monday, Erdogan said he himself was following the investigation, saying it was his political and humanitarian duty.

Khashoggi, who has lived in self-imposed exile in Washington for the past year fearing retribution for his critical views on Saudi policies, entered the consulate on Tuesday to secure documentation for his forthcoming marriage, according to his fiancee, who waited outside.

"If the reports of Jamal's murder are true, it is a monstrous and unfathomable act", the Post's editorial page editor Fred Hiatt said in a statement.

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

Erdogan said police are looking at surveillance video of the consulate's entrances and exits, as well as at the Istanbul airport.

Trump has instead focused on USA and Saudi shared interests in ratcheting up pressure on Iran. "And our chief investigator is investigating everything in this matter".

Khashoggi, 59, went missing while on a visit to the consulate in Istanbul for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancee.

Turkish authorities have told MEE they believe Khashoggi, a prominent journalist and critic of the Saudi govenrment, was killed soon after entering the building.

The Saudis have offered no evidence that he did leave.

NBC's Richard Engel reported for Good Morning Europe about the growing concerns about Khashoggi.

He is also a former editor of the Saudi newspaper al-Watan and had worked with Prince Alwaleed bin Talal, a grandson of the first Saudi king who was detained past year as part of what the authorities said was an anti-corruption campaign.

"[The] Saudi authorities said they were open to cooperation and that a search can be conducted at the consulate building", the ministry's spokesperson, Hami Aksoy, said in a statement, adding that the search will be conducted in "an intensive manner".

Crown Prince Mohammed's brother and the Saudi ambassador to the US, Khaled, has insisted all the reports about his disappearance or death "are completely false and baseless".