Sunday, 21 October, 2018

Turkey releases names of 15 Saudi suspects in Khashoggi murder

The image taken from Turkey's Daily Sabah shows 15 Saudi operatives suspected of having killed Kamal Khashoggi upon his arrival at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul Khashoggi case should not be politicized, says UN expert
Charles Bowen | 11 October, 2018, 20:12

Turkish officials have said that a 15-person team flew from Saudi Arabia into Istanbul on the day Khashoggi entered the consulate, and they have provided information about two private planes that, they say, were involved in the transit of these Saudis. Turkey fears he was killed by the Saudis who say the allegations are baseless.

And we have investigators over there and we're working with Turkey, and frankly we're working with Saudi Arabia. Khashoggi supported efforts to nudge the entrenched ultraconservative clerics to accept reforms in the kingdom.

Khashoggi, a wealthy former government insider who had been living in the U.S.in 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. The footage does not show Khashoggi himself leaving the consulate. "Is it possible for the Saudi Arabian consulate where the incident occurred not to have camera systems?"

United States intelligence officials reportedly intercepted communications that the Saudis discussed a plan to lure and capture Khashoggi before his disappearance.

"I think that would be hurting us", he said.

Analysts say that although Turkey is angry over the possible murder of Khashoggi, it also doesn't want to go into alone against Saudi Arabia and is looking for political backing from the United States and other allies. Corker and Top Democrat Bob Menendez are triggering an investigation into his disappearance.

Turkish authorities have said he was killed by an elite Saudi "hit squad".

"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", RSF, which defends press freedom around the world, said in a statement.

Middle East Eye reported one of the suspects was head of the forensic department in Saudi General Security.

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On Wednesday, a week after Khashoggi's October 2 disappearance, the White House said that senior officials had spoken to the crown prince, referred to in shorthand as MbS, and Trump described the case as a "very serious situation".

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Khashoggi was a USA resident.

But Turkish officials declined to go on record as Turkey tries to manage its hard relationship with regional powerhouse Saudi Arabia.

Another account, known as "the Saudi alliance" on Twitter, even theorised that Cengiz is actually a man posing as Khashoggi's fiance.

The journalist went missing after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. According to the New York Times, officials in Istanbul believe he was killed on orders from the royal court of Saudi Arabia.

The letter states that Khashoggi "could be a victim of a gross violation of internationally recognized human rights".

With Turkish-Saudi ties already strained and its foreign policy plate too full for another crisis, Ankara appears wary of a diplomatic war with Riyadh, hoping instead that the Saudis will take the chance for an offramp.

The Sabah newspaper, which is close to President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, identified the team members, including several alleged security officials, and published photos of each of them, apparently taken at passport control.

At 1:14 p.m., Khashoggi is seen walking into the consulate, wearing a dark blazer and light pants.

Erdogan said the kingdom has the responsibility to prove its claim that the missing Saudi journalist left the consulate alive. A man with a light blazer outside the consulate bows slightly as the writer enters the building.

The Spectator reported claims that Mr Khashoggi had been offered a role as an adviser if he returned to Saudi Arabia but had declined because of "moral and religious" principles.

"That would be a very sad thing and we'll probably know in the very short future", Trump said.

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