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.

 

 


Khashoggi’s children call for independent commission baseless, comes from unverified Twitter account

Updated 13 min 28 sec ago
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Khashoggi’s children call for independent commission baseless, comes from unverified Twitter account

DUBAI: An unverified social media account which claims to be owned by missing Saudi journalist’s son Jamal Khashoggi, Abdullah, has been quoted in several media outlets as calling for an ‘independent, and impartial investigation’ into what happened to his father.

The statement, which calls for the media to also respect the privacy of the family, has been quoted by a number of international media outlets as authentic.

However, upon examining the account it is clear that it was only created on October 15 and has not been shared with any of the Saudi media outlets, including the MBC network where Salah Khashoggi currently works.

Furthermore, the account authenticity has not been confirmed by any of the Khashoggi family members Arab News has tried contacting.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo arrived in Riyadh on Tuesday for talks with King Salman, supposed to discuss the case of Khashoggi, after being sent by President Donald Trump.

Trump on Monday said: “It sounded to me, maybe these could have been rogue killers,” after a telephone conversation with King Salman, where the two leaders discussed the joint investigation by Saudi Arabia and Turkey into Khashoggi’s disappearance.

Khashoggi, a US-based Saudi national, has been missing since Oct. 2 when he visited the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul to secure divorce papers. Nothing has been heard of him since.

An Arab News analysis of reports from global news outlets has unearthed a series of inconsistencies and fake facts.