Turkish authorities plan to search Saudi consulate for missing journalist

10 October, 2018, 18:29 | Author: Carlos George
  • US needs answers on Saudi journalist Washington Post

On Monday, Turkey sought permission to search Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul after a prominent journalist from the kingdom went missing last week following a visit to the building, Turkish broadcaster NTV reported.

Saudi Arabia has said the accusations are "baseless" and claims Khashoggi left the consulate shortly after he arrived.

Amid growing calls within the US and around the world for Saudi Arabia to investigate Khashoggi's disappearance, Republican Sen.

Saudi Arabia has agreed to allow Turkish authorities to search the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul after reports of a Saudi journalist going missing last week after he entered the consulate, AFP reported on Tuesday.

The request was made after the foreign ministry summoned the Saudi ambassador for a second time over the disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, NTV said.

Turkish authorities are examining motorway cameras in the search for a black van that left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week and that investigators believe belonged to a Saudi hit squad.

A photograph taken from a Turkish police closed-circuit television camera outside the residence and obtained by The Washington Post shows a Mercedes Vito van with tinted windows that security officials say transported some of those men from the consulate to the residence about two hours after Khashoggi entered the consulate.

Mr Trump himself said he was concerned, while Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged a thorough investigation with transparent findings about the fate of Mr Khashoggi, whom Saudi officials insist left the consulate in Istanbul.

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Turkey has now identified the roles that most or all of them held in the Saudi government or security services.

"I have raised Jamal's disappearance personally with the Saudi ambassador, and while we await more information, know we will respond accordingly to any state that targets journalists overseas", he wrote. Friends and officials have blamed Riyadh for the dissident journalist's disappearance and alleged murder. "Why don't you prove it, you have to prove it".

US President Donald Trump has told reporters he will speak with Saudi officials to discuss the case.

Khashoggi went to the consulate to procure paperwork certifying that he had divorced his wife, in order to marry his fiancé, Hatice Cengiz, who is a Turkish national. "If the story the Saudis are telling, that he just walked out ... after half an hour, if that's true, they ought to have facts and documents and evidence and tapes to back that up".

Asked if Khashoggi faces charges in Saudi Arabia, Bin Salman said it was first important to discover where he was.

United Nations rights office spokeswoman, Ravina Shamdasani, on Tuesday echoed calls for "a prompt, impartial and independent investigation of the circumstances of Mr Khashoggi's disappearance and to keep the findings public" in comments to journalists in Geneva. "But if this deeply disturbing news report is confirmed, the United States & the civilized world must respond strongly, and I will review all options in Senate".

The newspaper said "a person close to the investigation" had shared the image with them.

"Consulate officials can't save themselves by saying, 'He left here.' And relevant authorities are obligated to provide proof of this claim", Erdogan said during a visit to Hungary. And hopefully that will sort itself out. Right now. I know what everybody else knows.

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