Missing writer shows Saudi Arabia's dark side

Clay Curtis
October 14, 2018

But the disappearance of Washington Post contributor Jamal Khashoggi, who Turkish officials fear has been killed, potentially has taken the practice to a new, macabre level by grabbing a writer who could both navigate Saudi Arabia's byzantine royal court and explain it to the West.

Hayes offered no evidence to support his wild conspiracy theory, which came in response to the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi, "a well-known and well-connected Saudi journalist, self-exiled in the United States, who had for months sounded the alarm over increasingly autocratic moves by the crown prince", the Los Angeles Times reported. VOA's Zlatica Hoke reports.

"We have intelligence that reports to Saudi involvement". His fiancee said the journalist was invited to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents needed for his upcoming marriage.

Prince Khalid bin Salman, the Saudi ambassador to the US, sought to convey sympathy with carefully moderate criticism in a note to friends in English the embassy shared with reporters.

Decades of close U.S. -Saudi relations, which have only intensified under Mr. Trump, appeared in jeopardy by the suggestion of a carefully plotted murder of a government critic, Jamal Khashoggi, 59, who disappeared a week ago after entering a Saudi consulate in Turkey.

The Washington Post reported earlier that a squad of Saudis played a role in his October 2 disappearance outside the consulate.

On Oct. 2, Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, Turkey.

Last week, the Turkish-Arab Media Association reported that Khashoggi went missing in Turkey. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, has cultivated close ties with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, and was instrumental in last year's $110 billion arms package. It´s a very serious situation for us and for this White House.

While living in Saudi Arabia, Khashoggi was told to stop writing or posting on Twitter, where he has more than 1.6 million followers.

On Tuesday, Khashoggi's fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, used an opinion piece for the Washington Post to appeal to Donald Trump for help to "shed light" on the disappearance. Two of these cars were highly suspicious - according to the special investigation team they disappeared from the surveillance cameras for hours and then went back to the consulate. It's unclear when such a search would take place.

The act is used in cases of suspected "extrajudicial killing, torture, or other gross violation of internationally recognized human rights against an individual exercising freedom of expression", the senators said.

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The crown prince ordered an operation to lure Khashoggi back to Saudi Arabia from the United States and then detain him, the Washington Post reported on Wednesday, citing USA intelligence intercepts of Saudi officials discussing the plan.

Social media sleuths identified another man from the squad as a senior crimes scene investigator in Saudi Arabia.

"Is it possible there were no camera systems in a consulate, in an embassy?"

Trump said he wanted to find out what happened to Khashoggi but appeared reluctant to consider blocking arms sales, citing economic reasons.

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo then had a follow-up call with the crown prince to reiterate the USA request for information and a thorough, transparent investigation.

Since leaving Saudi Arabia, Khashoggi has written for The Washington Post.

The same source said the Saudis hoped to "lure" Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia "and lay hands on him there".

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

Mujtahid said that the Turkish judicial authorities are already in possession of sufficient proof and evidence to prove the Saudi government's role in Khashoggi's death, but they are waiting for completion of the legal and judicial process so that the final report would condemn bin Salman.

President Donald Trump has expressed reservations over calls to withhold further USA arms sales to Saudi Arabia as the US looks into the fate of a Saudi writer missing and feared murdered by his own government. Riyadh has supported the administration's tough stance toward Iran, a key rival of Saudi Arabia in the volatile Middle East.

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