Published: Wed, October 10, 2018
Global Media | By Garry Long

Missing Saudi Journalist Killed Inside Istanbul Consulate: Turkish Police Sources

Missing Saudi Journalist Killed Inside Istanbul Consulate: Turkish Police Sources

Considered an authoritative voice on Saudi affairs, Khashoggi has also been a regular contributor on global news outlets.

Jamal Khashoggi, a prominent critic of the Riyadh regime, has not been seen since he entered Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul last Tuesday and Turkish authorities claim he was killed inside the building. The CCTV image, obtained by the Washington Post, was reportedly leaked by somebody "close to the investigation".

"We agree if there was any truth to the allegations of wrongdoing by the Saudi government it would be devastating to the US-Saudi relationship and there will be a heavy price to be paid - economically and otherwise".

A Turkish government source told AFP that police believed Khashoggi was killed at the Istanbul consulate, which Riyadh strongly denied.

Turkish officials told Reuters over the weekend they believed he had been killed inside the consulate.

The announcement came as a surveillance image surfaced of Jamal Khashoggi walking into the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, just before he disappeared. Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman "is acting like [Russian President Vladimir] Putin", Khashoggi wrote in another one.

Turkish authorities suspect Khashoggi was murdered while inside the building, and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan says he is now personally involved in the case. the BBC reported. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said officials have taken up the matter with their Saudi counterparts.

A top Senate ally of Trump warned of a "devastating" impact on the U.S. alliance with Saudi Arabia if allegations are confirmed.

It was the second time in two days that the ambassador had been questioned by the Foreign Office about what the Saudi royal family may know about Khashoggi's disappearance.

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Flight records show two Saudi planes arrived at Istanbul's Ataturk airport on Tuesday and departed separately that same day, hours after Khashoggi was last seen.

In July, the United Nations 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.

It was around this time that columnist Jamal Khashoggi left the kingdom for self-imposed exile in the US. A former Muslim Brotherhood member who befriended Osama bin Laden but later condemned his violence, Khashoggi became a leading proponent for Arab reform-some of the same reforms, in fact, that MBS has spearheaded as part of his Vision 2030 campaign for the kingdom.

The Khashoggi case puts the Trump administration unexpectedly on the side of Turkey, where two top government officials have been slapped with USA sanctions over the detention of an American pastor. "Hopefully that will sort itself out".

He moved to the United States more than a year ago, where he continued his commentary about his country both in print and on television.

Saudi Consul-General Mohammad al-Otaibi said Saudi officials were searching for the journalist and gave a tour of the consulate to Reuters reporters to prove Khashoggi was not there.

Turkish officials say they have concrete evidence Khashoggi was murdered and his body was removed - but they haven't presented it. "Don't you have cameras and other things?"

In a rare public appearance in October, the crown prince - known as MBS - said he would strive for "a country of moderate Islam that is tolerant of all religions and to the world".

The alleged murder, cloaked in deep mystery, assumes more global significance because Khashoggi was a high-profile journalist with penetrating worldwide connections.

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