Culture

New Reports Add Detail To Disappearance Of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi

New Reports Add Detail To Disappearance Of Saudi Journalist Jamal Khashoggi”

A veteran journalist, Khashoggi disappeared on October 2 after entering Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul to arrange paperwork for his wedding to Cengiz, a Turk.

The Sabah newspaper, which is close to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, published images of what it referred to as the "assassination squad" apparently taken at passport control.

The footage aired Wednesday begins by showing the 3:28 a.m. arrival on October 2 of one of two private Gulfstream jets that Turkish media say were carrying the 15 Saudis, who allegedly flew into and out of Istanbul on the day Khashoggi went missing.

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 kingdom has dismissed the allegation as "baseless", but has released no evidence supporting its version of events which is that Khashoggi left the consulate unharmed shortly after entering.

Sabah newspaper published the names and years of birth of 15 Saudis it said arrived at Istanbul's Ataturk airport on October 2.

The individuals checked in to two hotels close to the consulate, the daily said.

Self-exiled Saudi dissident Jamal Khashoggi said earlier this year that the Saudi government has been moving toward nationalist radicalism. Turkish officials have said they fear the columnist was killed on the premises. According to the New York Times, officials in Istanbul believe he was killed on orders from the royal court of Saudi Arabia.

Khashoggi's fiancée, who he was set to marry last Wednesday, issued a public plea to President Donald Trump, who is friendly with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, asking him to investigate the disappearance.

In Istanbul, Khashoggi met his fiancee, Hatice Cengiz, a PhD student who had met Khashoggi at a seminar.

The U.S. government has remained relatively quiet on the disappearance, but Secretary of State Mike Pompeo urged Saudi leaders to "support a thorough investigation of Mr. Khashoggi's disappearance and to be transparent about the results of that investigation".

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. Sabah on Wednesday revealed the identities of what it called a "mysterious" 15-member "assassination squad" who were allegedly involved in Saudi writer and government critic Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance. The video ends with shots of two private jets, saying that six men left at 5:40 p.m. and seven left at 9 p.m.

The footage all seemed to come from surveillance cameras, which would have been posted throughout the district housing the Saudi consulate and other diplomatic missions. Saudi officials haven't acknowledged that.

But that's not enough for Khashoggi's fiance, who wrote an op-ed Tuesday imploring "President Trump and first lady Melania Trump to help shed light on Jamal's disappearance".

Tuesday's statement from the Turkish Foreign Ministry's spokesman, Hami Aksoy, said Saudi authorities had notified Ankara that they were "open to cooperation" and would allow the consulate building to be searched.



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