Saturday, 15 December, 2018

Fiancee of missing Saudi journalist asks for Trump’s help

Stacy Diaz | 10 October, 2018, 17:25

Turkish pro-government newspaper Sabah said on Wednesday it had identified a 15-member intelligence team it said was involved in the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

A Turkish security source had previously told Reuters that a group of 15 Saudi nationals, including some officials, arrived in Istanbul and entered the consulate on October 2, the same day Khashoggi was there, and later left the country.

It was reported on Tuesday that the six cars that left the consulate, several hours after Khashoggi had entered, stopped for several hours at the nearby Saudi consul general's residence, a site that has now become a focal point of the investigation into what happened to him.

The team arrived in Istanbul on two private planes, one of which landed after 3 a.m. (0000 GMT) on Tuesday while the second plane landed around 5 p.m. (1400 GMT) after Khashoggi entered the consulate.

Khashoggi was last seen a week ago entering the consulate in Istanbul to get documents related to his forthcoming marriage.

"In most cases, their arrests have never been officially confirmed and no official has ever said where they are being held or what they are charged with", said the watchdog.

The footage all seemed to come from surveillance cameras, which would have been posted throughout the district housing the Saudi consulate and other diplomatic missions.

Saudi Arabia is a major investor in Turkey, despite Ankara's support for the Gulf nation of Qatar, which is under a blockade led by Saudi Arabia and three other Arab nations.

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.

He served as an adviser to top Saudi officials, but later fell out of favour with the government.

"I also urge Saudi Arabia, especially King Salman and Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to show the same level of sensitivity and release CCTV footage from the consulate", Cengiz wrote.

In Istanbul, Khashoggi met his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, a PhD student who had met Khashoggi at a seminar. Fifteen people reportedly traveled to Istanbul aboard two charter flights, including one person who is believed to be an autopsy expert that may have helped dismember Khashoggi's body to remove it from the building. It has issued a blanket denial of the claims it killed Mr Khashoggi, calling them...

CCTV footage broadcast by Turkish TV appears to show groups of Saudi men entering the country via Istanbul airport and then checking in to the hotels. The video ends with shots of two private jets, saying that six men left at 5:40 p.m. and seven left at 9 p.m.

But that's not enough for Khashoggi's fiance, who wrote an op-ed Tuesday imploring "President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal's disappearance". Saudi officials haven't acknowledged that. Turkey said 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.