Missing Saudi journalist's fiancée asks for Trump's help

Brenda Watkins
October 10, 2018

Turkey has said it will conduct a search, but has also asked for definitive proof that Mr Khashoggi left the building.

Saudi Arabia has dismissed as baseless accusations that it killed or abducted Khashoggi.

The 15 members of the squad the Turkish authorities believe to be implicated in the disappearance and possible killing of the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi have been identified from immigration surveillance footage. The video suggests that Khashoggi was in the vehicle at the time. An hour and 54 minutes later, according to the time stamp, a black Mercedes Vito with diplomatic license plates, which resembled a van parked outside of the consulate when the writer walked in, drives some 2 kilometers (1.2 miles) to the consul's home, where it parks inside a garage.

Turkish officials say they fear Khashoggi was killed at the consulate last week.

"Although his opinions had angered certain people, he said, the tensions between himself and Saudi Arabia did not amount to hate, grudges or threats", his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, wrote in The Washington Post. It said they checked into two hotels in Istanbul on October 2 and left later that day. The video also shows alleged Saudi planes and agents, whom Turkish officials want to investigate in relation to the dissident journalist's disappearance.

A total of 25 to 30 professional and non-professional journalists are now believed to be detained in Saudi Arabia, which is ranked 169th out of 180 countries in RSF's 2018 World Press Freedom Index, the organisation also said.

The paper printed pictures of the Saudi nationals that appeared to have been taken by security cameras during police control at an airport.

A senior Turkish official told the Times that "Ankara hoped that Washington and the worldwide community would take the lead in challenging Saudi Arabia".

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"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", she wrote.

Writer Jamal Khashoggi, who had written critically about Prince Mohammed and the kingdom, vanished October 2 while on a trip to the consulate to get paperwork so he could be married to Cengiz.

Trump said Tuesday that he hadn't spoken to the Saudis about Khashoggi, "but I will be at some point", according to the Associated Press.

Before Khashoggi disappeared, United States intelligence intercepted communications of Saudi officials discussing a plan to grab him, the Washington Post reported.

The Post elaborated on those accounts in a separate story Tuesday, writing that the Saudi team laid in wait for Khashoggi to enter the consulate.

The Turkish foreign ministry on Tuesday said Saudi authorities gave them the greenlight to search the consulate but it has not yet taken place.

Sabah daily on Wednesday published the names and images of what it called the "assassination team" including a man called Salah Muhammed Al-Tubaigy whose name it said matched that of a lieutenant-colonel in the Saudi forensic department. The footage shows Khashoggi entering the consulate on October 2.

A columnist with the Washington Post, Khashoggi was living between Washington DC and Istanbul at the time of his disappearance, and was visiting the consulate in order to obtain documents proving an earlier divorce so that he could marry his Turkish fiancée.

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