Saudi Arabia denies murder allegations as world leaders call for answers

By On October 13, 2018

Saudi Arabia denies murder allegations as world leaders call for answers

Saudi Arabia denied allegations regarding the murder of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Saudi Interior Minister said late on Friday.

He said that allegations about orders to murder Khashoggi were “lies” targeting the government, according to the official Saudi Press Agency.

Khashoggi entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2nd to get documents for his forthcoming marriage.

Saudi officials have said that he left shortly afterwards but Turkish officials and his fiance, who was waiting outside, have said that he never came out.

Turkish officials have said he was killed on the premises and his body removed.

A critic of Saudi Arabia’s de facto ruler Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, Mr Khashoggi was living in self-imposed exile in the US and writing opinion pieces for the Washington Post before he vanished.

On Wednesday, the Sabah newspaper, which is close to Turkish president Recep Tayyip Erdogan, revealed the identities of what it called a “mysterious” 15-member “assassination squad” who were allegedly involved in the disappearance.

A delegation from Saudi Arabia arrived in Turkey as part of a joint investigation into the disappearance of Mr Khashoggi, three Turkish sources said on Friday.

ASaudi source also said a senior royal, Prince Khaled al-Faisal, visited Turkey on Thursday for talks.

Later the same day Turkey said the two countries had agreed to form a joint working group - at Riyadh’s initiative - to investigate the case.

Meanwhile, Riyadh faces a chorus of international calls to shed light on what happened to the Washington Post columnist, and business leaders have already shunned the regime.

US president Donald Trump has pledged that the US government will find ou t what happened to Mr Khashoggi and has said he will speak to Saudi Arabia’s King Salman about the case.

A man takes a passport from the door of the Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Photograph: Getty Images.
A man takes a passport from the door of the Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey. Photograph: Getty Images.

Former UK foreign secretary Sir Malcolm Rifkind has called for Britain to impose sanctions against Saudi Arabia following the disappearance.

Sir Malcolm said the UK Government should work with its allies to punish Riyadh, telling BBC’s Newsnight: “If the current Crown Prince remains in power for the indefinite future, then in the first instance the United Kingdom must work with the United States, France and other countries to see if there can be a combined response, a punishment of some kind, of sanctions of some kind.

“If the United States was not willing to take part then the United Kingdom has to consider action that it will take in its own name.”

Financial Times editor Lionel Barber announced the newspaper would be pulling its partnership in a high-profile economic conference in Riyadh, while Sir Richard Branson has f rozen several business links with the Gulf state.

International Monetary Fund Managing Director Christine Lagarde said on Saturday she has not cancelled her plans to attend an elite

Saudi investment conference later this month, but will be “very attentive” to any new information about the disappearance of the journalist.

“Horrifying things have been reported, and I am horrified,” Lagarde said of media reports about Khashoggi’s disappearance.

“But I have to conduct the business of the IMF in all corners of the world and with many governments.”


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