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Turkey says will search consulate where Saudi journalist vanished

Turkish newspaper names 15 Saudis in missing journalist case + Video

Wednesday 10 October 2018, by siawi3

Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-consulate/turkey-says-will-search-consulate-where-saudi-journalist-vanished-idUSKCN1MJ1E4

October 9, 2018 / 2:08 PM / Updated 6 hours ago

Turkey says will search consulate where Saudi journalist vanished

Ece Toksabay, Daren Butler

ANKARA (Reuters) - Turkey said on Tuesday that it would search Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul where Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi vanished last week, and close ally Britain called on Riyadh to provide “urgent answers” over his disappearance.

Khashoggi was last seen one week ago entering the consulate in Istanbul to get documents related to his forthcoming marriage. His fiancée, waiting outside, said he never emerged and Turkish sources said they believe Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi policies, was killed inside the mission.

Turkey’s President Tayyip Erdogan asked Saudi Arabia on Monday to prove its assertion that Khashoggi left the consulate.

The U.S. State Department said it did not know what happened to Khashoggi and whether he was alive or not.

“We don’t know what has happened to him. We don’t have any information on that,” spokeswoman Heather Nauert told reporters adding: “We don’t want to make any judgments about what happened.”

Saudi Arabia has dismissed as baseless accusations that it killed or abducted Khashoggi, and on Tuesday Turkey’s state-owned Anadolu agency said Riyadh had invited Turkish experts and other officials to visit the consulate.

Britain urged the Saudi government to explain what happened. “Just met the Saudi ambassador to seek urgent answers over Jamal Khashoggi,” U.K. foreign minister Jeremy Hunt said on Twitter.

“Violence against journalists worldwide is going up and is a grave threat to freedom of expression. If media reports prove correct, we will treat the incident seriously - friendships depend on shared values,” he wrote.

Turkey’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said the investigation was “continuing intensively”. The Vienna Convention on diplomatic relations allowed for consulates to be searched by authorities of a host country with consent of the mission chief, he said.

“The consulate building will be searched in the framework of the investigation,” Aksoy said in a written statement.

There was no immediate comment on the report from the Saudi authorities.

News agency Anadolu later reported that a private plane that had arrived from Saudi Arabia at Istanbul’s Ataturk Airport was searched last Tuesday, the day Khashoggi was last seen. The search proved fruitless and the plane took off again afterwards, it said.

A Turkish security source had previously told Reuters that a group of 15 Saudi nationals, including some officials, had arrived in Istanbul in two planes and entered the consulate on the same day Khashoggi was there, and later left the country.

It was not immediately clear if the Anadolu report referred to one of those aircraft.

A still image taken from CCTV video and obtained by TRT World claims to show Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi as he arrives at Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Turkey Oct. 2, 2018. Reuters TV/via REUTERS.

“FORCED DISAPPEARANCE”

Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia last year saying he feared retribution for his criticism of Saudi policy over the Yemen war and its crackdown on dissent, and since then wrote columns for the Washington Post newspaper. His disappearance sparked global concern.

In an essay in the Washington Post, Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, implored U.S. President Donald Trump and first lady Melania to “help shed light on Jamal’s disappearance.”

“Although my hope slowly fades away each passing day, I remain confident that Jamal is still alive,” Cengiz wrote.

“Perhaps I’m simply trying to hide from the thought that I have lost a great man whose love I had earned.”

Trump said earlier on Tuesday he plans to speak with the Saudis without elaborating. Speaking at the White House, he said he did not have details about Khashoggi’s disappearance [L2N1WP0QF]

The U.N. human rights office urged both Turkey and Saudi Arabia to investigate what it called the “apparent enforced disappearance” and possible murder of Khashoggi.

“We call for cooperation between Turkey and Saudi Arabia to conduct a prompt and impartial investigation into the circumstances of Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance and to make the findings public,” U.N. human rights spokeswoman Ravina Shamdasani told a Geneva news briefing.

The two countries have such an obligation under both criminal law and international human rights law, she said.

In July, the U.N. human rights office called on Saudi Arabia to release all peaceful activists, including women held for campaigning against a ban on driving as it was being lifted.
Slideshow (4 Images)

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

His disappearance is likely to further deepen divisions between Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Relations were already strained after Turkey sent troops to the Gulf state of Qatar last year in a show of support after its Gulf neighbors, including Saudi Arabia, imposed an embargo on Doha.

The two Turkish sources told Reuters on Saturday that Turkish authorities believe Khashoggi was deliberately killed inside the consulate, a view echoed by one of Erdogan’s advisers, Yasin Aktay, who is a friend of the Saudi journalist.

Erdogan told reporters on Sunday that authorities were examining camera footage and airport records as part of their investigation. He has also said Turkey has no documents or evidence regarding the case.

The European Union fully supports U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, who called on Riyadh to investigate Khashoggi’s disappearance, EU policy chief Federica Mogherini said.

Additional reporting by Sarah Dadouch and Ali Kucukgocmen in Istanbul, Andrew MacAskill in London, Stephanie Nebehay in Geneva, Robert Rampton in Washington; Writing by Dominic Evans; Editing by William Maclean, Alison Williams, Toni Reinhold

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Source: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-saudi-politics-dissident-turkey/turkish-newspaper-names-15-saudis-in-missing-journalist-case-idUSKCN1MK0J0

October 10, 2018 / 8:26 AM / Updated 31 minutes ago

Turkish newspaper names 15 Saudis in missing journalist case

ISTANBUL (Reuters) - Turkish pro-government newspaper Sabah said on Wednesday it had identified a 15-member intelligence team it said was involved in the disappearance of prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Khashoggi was last seen a week ago entering the consulate in Istanbul to get documents related to his forthcoming marriage. His fiancée, waiting outside, said he never emerged and Turkish sources said they believe Khashoggi, a prominent critic of Saudi policies, was killed inside the mission.

Saudi Arabia has dismissed as baseless accusations that it killed or abducted Khashoggi. Saudi authorities have so far not commented on the 15 nationals reported to have come to Turkey.

A Turkish security source had previously told Reuters that a group of 15 Saudi nationals, including some officials, arrived in Istanbul and entered the consulate on Oct. 2, the same day Khashoggi was there, and later left the country.

Sabah newspaper published the names and years of birth of 15 Saudis it said arrived at Istanbul’s Ataturk airport on Oct. 2. Twelve of them arrived early on the Tuesday, based on photos captured at passport control which it published. The 15 departed at four different times, Sabah reported.

It did not say how it obtained the pictures and data.

The report also said that the Saudis stayed at the Wyndham and Movenpick hotels in Istanbul, in the same neighborhood as the Saudi consulate. Both hotels declined to comment on the report.

Photo: A human rights activist holds picture of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest outside the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, Turkey October 9, 2018. REUTERS/Osman Orsal

One of the men identified by name and photo in the Sabah report is a Saudi forensic expert, according to Saudi media reports, and is on the board of the Saudi Society of Forensic Medicine.

Turkish NTV broadcast videos of what it said were the men arriving at the airport and checking into one hotel, as well as videos of what it said was a large van arriving at the consul general’s residence two hours after Khashoggi had entered the consulate.

Reporting by Daren Butler, Additional reporting by Stephen Kalin, Writing by Sarah Dadouch; Editing by Dominic Evans and Andrew Heavens

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Source: https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/video-shows-team-accused-in-khashoggi-disappearance-in-istanbul-hotels-airport/2018/10/10/d4ec74ea-cc00-11e8-ad0a-0e01efba3cc1_story.html?noredirect=on&utm_term=.103b0b303996

Video shows team accused in Khashoggi disappearance in Istanbul hotels, airport

Video claims to show chain of events in Istanbul on day of Khashoggi’s disappearance

A video obtained by The Washington Post purports to show events in Istanbul on the day journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared. (The Washington Post)

By Loveday Morris and Souad Mekhennet

October 10 at 8:53 AM

ISTANBUL — A video obtained by The Washington Post on Wednesday purports to lay out movements of the 15-man Saudi team that Turkish authorities suspect of carrying out the abduction or killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Istanbul last week.

The footage was compiled and edited by Turkish authorities piecing together a timeline of the events of Oct. 2, the last day Khashoggi was seen, as he stepped into city’s Saudi Consulate to finalize papers for his wedding, according to a person close to the investigation who provided it. It came as Turkish newspaper Sabah published the identities of the 15 men.

Two Turkish officials confirmed the list was accurate. “We know all the names,” said one, a security official who declined to be named because the information is sensitive. “They are correct.”

Saudi officials strongly deny any involvement in the disappearance, and insist Khashoggi left the consulate unharmed that day. They say their own video cameras were not recording at the time.

[Saudis are said to have lain in wait for Jamal Khashoggi]

The video gives unprecedented insight into the disappearance of one of The Washington Post’s Global Opinions section’s columnists. However, The Post cannot fully verify its authenticity; the video is highly edited and contains some inconsistencies.

Video timestamps show a black Mercedes Vito leaving the Saudi Consulate a minute before it arrives at the consul general’s house. The person who provided the video said authorities are aware of that fact and said one of the camera’s timers was not accurate.

He said the video was prepared by Turkish authorities “for internal purposes.”

Hatice Cengiz, Khashoggi’s fiancee, said the figure entering the consulate appears to be Khashoggi as he was dressed that day as she said goodbye and waited outside.

She said the figure in the video pacing outside on the phone and identified as her in the video could show her as she frantically made calls to try to find Khashoggi, but she cannot be sure. It is too distant to be clear, she said.