Turkish authorities can search consulate for missing journalist, Saudi crown prince says 

Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Saudi Arabia is ready for Turkey to search the consulate in Istanbul. (AP)
Updated 06 October 2018
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Turkish authorities can search consulate for missing journalist, Saudi crown prince says 

  • Crown prince said his understanding is that Khashoggi entered the diplomatic mission and got out after an hour
  • On the Saudi-Canada diplomatic row, the crown prince said Ottawa was pressuring Riyadh to release a number of detainees facing charges of spying for a foreign country

JEDDAH: Turkish authorities can search Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul for journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been reported missing after visiting the diplomatic mission three days ago, Saudi Crown Prince Prince Mohammed bin Salman has said.
"We are ready to welcome the Turkish government to go and search our premises. The premises are sovereign territory, but we will allow them to enter and search and do whatever they want to do. If they ask for that, of course, we will allow them. We have nothing to hide," Prince Mohammed said in an interview released by Bloomberg on Friday.
Earlier reports said Khashoggi, a Saudi citizen residing in the US, visited the consulate in Istanbul earlier this week to secure divorce documents so that he could marry his Turkish fiancee. His fiancee and a friend have been quoted as saying he never came out after that.
The crown prince said his understanding is that Khashoggi entered the diplomatic mission and got out after an hour. 
"I’m not sure. We are investigating this through the foreign ministry to see exactly what happened at that time," he said.
In the wide-ranging interview, he was asked about Saudi Arabia's diplomatic row with Canada, which has seen the Kingdom expelling Ottawa's ambassador, stopping new trade, and pulling out Saudi scholarship students from Canada.
Prince Mohammed said the rift was sparked by the Canadian government's attempt to order Saudi Arabia to release a number of detainees facing charges of spying for a foreign country.
He said the case of the detainees has nothing to do with press freedom or women's rights.
"It had nothing to do with that rumor spreading around. They have connections with agencies of other countries. They have a network, connection with government people, leaking information for the sake these other governments," he said.
He said the Saudi government has videos of the suspects talking with foreign secret service. "We can show it to you. Tomorrow we will show you the videos," he told Bloomberg.
Pressed for further details, Prince Mohammed said: "Qatar is one of those countries that recruited some of those people. And some agencies indirectly working with Iran. Those are the two main countries that were really recruiting these people." 
"Some of the people on this list, they were part of that but they didn’t know that they were part of an intelligence operation, we’ve released them. But the other people, the evidence and the investigations proved that they did know it was intelligence work against Saudi Arabia," he added.

 

 


Saudi Arabia says missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead

Updated 20 October 2018
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Saudi Arabia says missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead

  • The journalist died after a fistfight at the consulate in Istanbul
  • Deputy intelligence chief, royal court adviser removed from positions, 18 Saudis arrested

JEDDAH: Saudi Arabia announced on Saturday the death of missing journalist Jamal Khashoggi, saying a preliminary investigation indicated he lost his life after a fight at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.
“The discussions between Jamal Khashoggi and those he met at the kingdom's consulate in Istanbul... devolved into a fistfight, leading to his death,” the Saudi Press Agency said, citing the public prosecutor.
Eighteen Saudis have been arrested in connection with the incident and the investigation is ongoing, the public prosecutor said.
“The Kingdom expresses its deep regret at the painful developments that have taken place and stresses the commitment of the authorities in the Kingdom to bring the facts to the public opinion, to hold all those involved accountable and bring them to justice,” a statement on the SPA said.
Khashoggi, a Saudi journalist who lived in the US, disappeared on Oct. 2 after visiting the consulate to complete paperwork related to his divorce.
Deputy intelligence chief Ahmed Al-Asiri was removed from his position and Saud Al-Qahtani from his advisory role at the Royal Court, through royal decrees.
Three other intelligence officials who were also sacked have been named as Mohammad bin Saleh Al-Rumaih, Abdullah bin Khalifa Al-Shaya and Rashad bin Hamed Al-Muhamadi.
King Salman also ordered the creation of a ministerial committee, headed by Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, to restructure the country’s General Intelligence agency and issue the results of its work within a month.
Members of the committee include the interior and foreign ministers as well as the heads of the General Intelligence and State Security.
A team of Saudi investigators were sent to Istanbul and have been working on the case with Turkish detectives, who entered the consulate on Thursday.
Earlier in the week, Saudi Arabia promised a thorough and transparent investigation into what happened to the journalist in Turkey.