Publicado: Mier, Octubre 10, 2018
Global | Por Milagro Delgado

Turkey asks permission to search Saudi consulate for missing journalist

Turkey asks permission to search Saudi consulate for missing journalist

Turkey has asked for permission to search Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul, broadcaster NTV said on Monday.

But some suspect the investigation will not yield substantial answers.

The US president, Donald Trump, a robust ally of Saudi Arabia, who had pledged to stay out of the country's domestic affairs, made his first reference to the case on Monday, telling reporters he was "concerned" about "some pretty bad stories" about Khashoggi's fate. He had been living since past year in the United States, in self-imposed exile, in part due to the rise of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, who has shown little tolerance for criticism.

The search will take place as part of the official investigation, which was being conducted "in an intense manner", he said without giving any date.

Instead, Saudis I have spoken to believe that, despite official denials, one possible scenario is that he was abducted inside the consulate, driven out in a diplomatic vehicle and "rendered" back to Saudi Arabia to either face retribution or be held incommunicado under indefinite house arrest. After Turkish authorities and the media were allowed to inspect the Consulate building in its entirety, the accusations changed to the outrageous claim that he was murdered, in the Consulate, during business hours, and with dozens of staff and visitors in the building.

"This will be a file between Saudi Arabia and us", the Turkish official warned.

It was the second time in two days that the ambassador had been questioned by the Foreign Office about what the Saudi royal family may know about Khashoggi's disappearance. "I personally think the possibility of him being killed is stronger than other possibilities, although I do not want to accept it".

"At the moment there are certain people who arrived from Saudi Arabia".

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Khashoggi, who fled Saudi Arabia past year to go into self-imposed exile in the U.S., had always been critical of the Saudi regime. The consulate insists Khashoggi left its premises, contradicting Turkish officials. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) tweeted, "I pray Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is alive".

On the eve of Khashoggi's planned marriage to a Turkish woman, he entered the consulate on October 2 and has not been seen since.

The private DHA agency said the planes, which it identified as a two Gulfstreams belonging to a Riyadh-based company that hires private jets, landed at Istanbul's Ataturk Airport on the day Khashoggi vanished.

The former government adviser, who turns 60 on October 13, has lived in the United States since previous year to avoid possible arrest. He claimed that Khashoggi had left the building not long after he entered earlier this week.

The note said the kingdom invites Turkish experts to visit the consulate "in line with the cooperation principle" with Turkey "and due to the importance the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia lays on finding the truth about Saudi Arabian citizen, son of Hamza, Jamal Ahmad Khashoggi's incident of disappearance".

In a March 6 Guardian editorial co-authored with Robert Lacey, he wrote: "For his domestic reform programme, the crown prince deserves praise".

Khashoggi is a familiar face on political talk shows on Arab satellite television networks and used to advise Prince Turki al-Faisal, former Saudi intelligence chief and ambassador to the United States and Britain.

It is well-known that Turkey and Saudi Arabia have, of late, been involved in a fierce competition to gain supremacy in the Middle East and Gulf region.

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