THU 13 - 12 - 2018
 
Date: Oct 9, 2018
Source: The Daily Star
Post publishes possibly last image of Khashoggi
Erdogan: Prove journalist left consulate
Associated Press
ISTANBUL: The Washington Post published a surveillance image on Tuesday showing its missing Saudi contributor walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul a week ago, just before he disappeared. Turkish officials have said they fear the columnist was killed there.

Saudi Arabia has called the allegations that it killed writer Jamal Khashoggi as "baseless," but has offered no evidence over the past seven days to show that he ever left the building.

The image released by the Post bore a date and date stamp. The Post said "a person close to the investigation" shared the image with them.

Khashoggi, 59, went missing while on a visit to the consulate in Istanbul for paperwork to marry his Turkish fiancée. The consulate insists the writer left its premises, contradicting Turkish officials.

He had been living since last year in the United States, in a self-imposed exile, in part due to the rise of Prince Mohammad, the son of King Salman.

As a contributor to the Post, Khashoggi has written extensively about Saudi Arabia, including criticizing its war in Yemen, its recent diplomatic spat with Canada and its arrest of women's rights activists after the lifting of a ban on women driving. All those issues have been viewed as being pushed by Prince Mohammed, who similarly has led roundups of activists, businessmen and others in the kingdom.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday urged the Saudis to back up their claim that Khashoggi left the consulate.

"Now when this person enters, whose duty is it to prove that he left or not? It is (the duty) of the consulate officials," Erdogan said during a visit to Hungary. "Don't you have cameras and other things? Why don't you prove it, you have to prove it."

Turkey summoned the Saudi ambassador on Sunday to request the kingdom's "full cooperation" in the investigation, a Foreign Ministry official said. The Turkish private NTV television said Ankara asked for permission for its investigators to search the consulate building, but a Foreign Ministry official would not confirm the report. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to talk to reporters about the subject.

Ties between Ankara and Riyadh are at a low point over Turkey's support for Qatar in its year-long dispute with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf nations. Turkey sent food to Qatar and deployed troops at its military base there.

A Sunni power, Saudi Arabia is also annoyed by Ankara's rapprochement with the kingdom's Shiite archrival, Iran.

Erdogan: Prove journalist left consulate

ANKARA/BUDAPEST: Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan Monday called on Riyadh to prove its claim that missing journalist and Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The disappearance of Khashoggi, previously a prominent newspaper editor in Saudi Arabia and an adviser to its former head of intelligence, has sparked global concern, particularly after Turkish sources said over the weekend that authorities believed he was killed inside the consulate.

Erdogan’s comments came after media reports said his government sought permission from Saudi authorities to search the consulate premises in Istanbul.

Khashoggi, a Washington Post contributor, vanished last Tuesday after entering the consulate to receive official documents ahead of his marriage to a Turkish woman.

“Consulate officials cannot save themselves by saying that he left the building ... Don’t you have a camera?” Erdogan told a news conference in Budapest.

“If he left, you have to prove it with footage. Those who ask Turkish authorities where he is should ask what happened.”

Police said over the weekend that around 15 Saudis, including officials, arrived in Istanbul on two flights Tuesday and were at the consulate at the same time as Khashoggi.

Riyadh vehemently denies the claim and says that Khashoggi left the consulate.

Turkey Monday sought permission to search the consulate premises, Turkish NTV broadcaster reported. A Turkish diplomat confirmed Monday that the Saudi envoy had met deputy foreign minister Sedat Onal.

“The ambassador was told that we expected full cooperation during the investigation,” the source said.

Protesters gathered outside the Saudi consulate Monday with banners reading “We will not leave without Jamal Khashoggi,” demanding to know what had happened to him.

Yemeni activist Tawakkol Karman, the 2011 Nobel Peace Prize laureate, said it would be an “awful crime” if the claims of his death were true.

“Killing him is like killing us. This policy is just a terror policy. There’s no difference between the state terror and other terror actions,” she added.

Khashoggi went to the consulate to obtain official documents required for his marriage to Hatice Cengiz. Turkish police quickly said that he never left the building as there was no security footage available of his departure.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman previously told Bloomberg that Riyadh was “ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises,” which is Saudi sovereign territory.

“We will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do. If they ask for that, of course, we will allow them. We have nothing to hide,” the crown prince said in an interview published Friday.

Khashoggi had been critical of some of the crown prince’s policies and Riyadh’s intervention in the war in Yemen in Arab and Western media.

Khashoggi also compared the 33-year-old crown prince to Russian President Vladimir Putin in a column for the Washington Post in November 2017.

“As of now, I would say Mohammad bin Salman is acting like Putin. He is imposing very selective justice. The crackdown on even the most constructive criticism the demand for complete loyalty with a significant ‘or else’ remains a serious challenge to the crown prince’s desire to be seen as a modern, enlightened leader,” he wrote.

U.S. President Donald Trump and his administration have not commented on the fate of Khashoggi but a top Senate ally of Trump warned of a “devastating” impact on the U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia if allegations are confirmed.

Republican Senator Lindsey Graham said Riyadh must provide “honest answers” to the claims that he was murdered.

Graham said his position was shared by Bob Corker, chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, and Ben Cardin, a senior Democrat on the panel.


 
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