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Saudi account of Khashoggi killing is widely denounced – Daily News

Saudi account of Khashoggi killing is widely denounced – Daily News

By CHRISTOPHER TORCHIA, ZEYNEP BILGINSOY and SARAH EL DEEB | Related Press

ISTANBUL — Turkey will “never allow a cover-up” of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, a senior official in Turkey’s ruling celebration stated Saturday, reflecting worldwide skepticism over the Saudi account that the author died throughout a “fistfight.”

The remark was one of many crucial reactions to the Saudi Arabia’s announcement of the author’s violent demise, indicating the dominion’s efforts to defuse a scandal that has gripped the world have been falling brief. U.S. President Donald Trump, nevertheless, was an exception. Requested whether or not he thought the Saudi rationalization was credible, he replied: “I do. I do.”

Regardless of widespread outrage over the killing of the columnist for The Washington Publish, it is unclear to what extent the highest management of Saudi Arabia, a key U.S. ally and a strong participant in a risky area, can be held accountable for what human rights activists describe as an extrajudicial killing by Saudi brokers.

  • Turan Kislakci, head of the Turkish-Arab media affiliation and pal of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi talks to the media, close to Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Turkey will “never allow a cover-up” of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, a senior official in Turkey’s ruling celebration stated Saturday after Saudi Arabia introduced hours earlier that the author died throughout a “fistfight” in its consulate. (AP Photograph/Emrah Gurel)

  • Ayman Nour, an Egyptian dissident, second left, and Turan Kislakci, proper, head of the Turkish-Arab media affiliation speak to the media relating to Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, close to Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Turkey will “never allow a cover-up” of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, a senior official in Turkey’s ruling celebration stated Saturday after Saudi Arabia introduced hours earlier that the author died throughout a “fistfight” in its consulate. (AP Photograph/Emrah Gurel)

  • Turan Kislakci, head of the Turkish-Arab media affiliation and pal of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi talks to the media, close to Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Turkey will “never allow a cover-up” of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, a senior official in Turkey’s ruling get together stated Saturday after Saudi Arabia introduced hours earlier that the author died throughout a “fistfight” in its consulate. (AP Photograph/Emrah Gurel)

  • Limitations block the street resulting in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Saudi Arabia claims Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in a “fistfight” in consulate, lastly admitting that the author had been slain at its diplomatic submit. The in a single day bulletins in Saudi state media got here greater than two weeks after Khashoggi, 59, entered the constructing for paperwork required to marry his Turkish fiancée, and by no means got here out.(AP Photograph/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • FILE – On this Jan. 29, 2011 file photograph, Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks on his cellphone on the World Financial Discussion board in Davos, Switzerland. Eighteen days after Khashoggi disappeared, Saudi Arabia acknowledged early Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, that the 59-year-old author has died in what it stated was a “fistfight” contained in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. (AP Photograph/Virginia Mayo, File)

  • On this picture produced from a March 2018 video offered by Metafora Manufacturing, Jamal Khashoggi speaks throughout an interview at an undisclosed location. Eighteen days after Khashoggi disappeared, Saudi Arabia acknowledged early Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, that the 59-year-old author has died in what it stated was a “fistfight” contained in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. (Metafora Manufacturing by way of AP) (Metafora Manufacturing by way of AP)

  • On this picture produced from a March 2018 video offered by Metafora Manufacturing, Eiad Alhaji, a Syrian documentary movie maker, grabs a cat that jumped onto Jamal Khashoggi’s lap as he speaks in an interview at an undisclosed location. Eighteen days after Khashoggi disappeared, Saudi Arabia acknowledged early Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018, that the 59-year-old author has died in what it stated was a “fistfight” contained in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul. (Metafora Manufacturing by way of AP)

  • The Saudi Arabia’s flag flies atop the nation’s consulate in Istanbul, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018.Saudi Arabia claims Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in a “fistfight” in consulate, lastly admitting that the author had been slain at its diplomatic publish. The in a single day bulletins in Saudi state media got here greater than two weeks after Khashoggi, 59, entered the constructing for paperwork required to marry his Turkish fiancée, and by no means got here out.(AP Photograph/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • A safety guard stands outdoors Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Saudi Arabia claims Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi died in a “fistfight” in consulate, lastly admitting that the author had been slain at its diplomatic publish. The in a single day bulletins in Saudi state media got here greater than two weeks after Khashoggi, 59, entered the constructing for paperwork required to marry his Turkish fiancée, and by no means got here out.(AP Photograph/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • A safety guard stands behind limitations blocking the street resulting in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Turkey will “never allow a cover-up” of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, a senior official in Turkey’s ruling get together stated Saturday after Saudi Arabia introduced hours earlier that the author died throughout a “fistfight” in its consulate. (AP Photograph/Emrah Gurel)

  • Turan Kislakci, head of the Turkish-Arab media affiliation and pal of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi talks to the media, close to Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Turkey will “never allow a cover-up” of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, a senior official in Turkey’s ruling social gathering stated Saturday after Saudi Arabia introduced hours earlier that the author died throughout a “fistfight” in its consulate. (AP Photograph/Emrah Gurel)

  • A safety guard stands behind limitations blocking the street resulting in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Turkey will “never allow a cover-up” of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, a senior official in Turkey’s ruling get together stated Saturday after Saudi Arabia introduced hours earlier that the author died throughout a “fistfight” in its consulate. (AP Photograph/Emrah Gurel)

  • Obstacles block the street resulting in Saudi Arabia’s consulate, background, in Istanbul, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Turkey will “never allow a cover-up” of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, a senior official in Turkey’s ruling social gathering stated Saturday after Saudi Arabia introduced hours earlier that the author died throughout a “fistfight” in its consulate. (AP Photograph/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • A view of Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. Turkey will “never allow a cover-up” of the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi in Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul, a senior official in Turkey’s ruling get together stated Saturday after Saudi Arabia introduced hours earlier that the author died throughout a “fistfight” in its consulate. (AP Photograph/Lefteris Pitarakis)

  • The doorway to the Belgrade Forest on the outskirts of Istanbul, Saturday, Oct. 20, 2018. A Turkish official advised AP that investigators are wanting into the likelihood that Khashoggi’s stays might have been taken outdoors Istanbul. Talking on situation of anonymity as a result of the investigation is ongoing, the official stated police have established that two automobiles belonging to the consulate left the constructing Oct. 2. One traveled to the Belgrade Forest on the town’s outskirts, whereas the opposite went to the town of Yalova, throughout the Sea of Marmara from Istanbul, the official stated. (AP Photograph/Emrah Gurel)

The one approach to discover out what occurred can be by way of a world investigation led by a U.N.-appointed panel, the editorial board of The Washington Submit stated.

Saudi Arabia’s “latest version asks us to believe that Mr. Khashoggi died after becoming engaged in a “brawl” with officers who had been despatched to satisfy him. His physique, Saudi officers advised a number of journalists, was handed over to a “local collaborator” for disposal,” it stated, whereas additionally criticizing Trump for allegedly making an attempt to assist prime Saudi leaders escape “meaningful accountability.”

Saudi Arabia stated 18 Saudi suspects have been in custody and intelligence officers had been fired. However critics consider the complicated scheme that led to Khashoggi’s dying couldn’t have occurred with out the information of Mohammed bin Salman, the 33-year-old crown prince whose early guarantees of sweeping reform are being eclipsed by considerations that he is an impulsive, even sinister determine.

The Saudi narrative of Khashoggi’s dying, alleged to have occurred in a brawl following discussions with visiting officers within the consulate, contrasts with Turkish pro-government media stories that a Saudi hit squad, together with an post-mortem skilled, traveled to Istanbul to kill Khashoggi and dispose of his physique, which has not but been discovered.

“It’s not possible for the Saudi administration to wiggle itself out of this crime if it’s confirmed,” stated Numan Kurtulmus, deputy head of Turkey’s Justice and Improvement Get together. He additionally stated Turkey would share its proof of Khashoggi’s killing with the world and that a “conclusive result” of the investigation is shut.

One other Turkish ruling get together official additionally criticized Saudi Arabia, saying the dominion ought to have given its rationalization “before the situation reached this point.”

The official, Leyla Sahin Usta, stated it might have been “more valuable” if Saudi officers had earlier admitted that Khashoggi was killed in its diplomatic publish.

Saudi Arabia initially denied any information of the disappearance of Khashoggi, who disappeared after getting into its consulate.

The in a single day admission that the author died within the consulate got here in Saudi state media greater than two weeks after Khashoggi, 59, entered the constructing for paperwork required to marry his Turkish fiancée and by no means got here out. The dominion has described assertions in Turkish media leaks, based mostly on purported audio recordings that Khashoggi was tortured, killed and dismembered contained in the consulate, as “baseless.”

In firing officers near Prince Mohammed, Saudi Arabia stopped brief of implicating the heir-apparent of the world’s largest oil exporter. King Salman, his father, appointed him to steer a committee that may restructure the dominion’s intelligence providers after Khashoggi’s slaying. No main selections in Saudi Arabia are made outdoors of the ultraconservative kingdom’s ruling Al Saud household.

Khashoggi, a outstanding journalist and royal courtroom insider for many years in Saudi Arabia, had written columns important of Prince Mohammed and the dominion’s path whereas dwelling in self-imposed exile within the U.S.

“God have mercy on you my love Jamal, and may you rest in Paradise,” Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, tweeted following the Saudi bulletins.

U.N. Secretary-Common Antonio Guterres “stresses the need for a prompt, thorough and transparent investigation into the circumstances of Mr. Khashoggi’s death and full accountability for those responsible,” spokesman Stephane Dujarric stated.

Standing outdoors the Saudi consulate in Istanbul, the top of a media group stated the “authority that gave the orders” within the killing of Khashoggi ought to be punished.

Turan Kislakci, president of the Turkish Arab Media Affiliation, stated Khashoggi was “slaughtered by bloody murderers” and that his group needs “true justice” for its slain colleague.

White Home press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders stated the U.S. will advocate for justice within the Khashoggi case that is “timely, transparent and in accordance with all due process.”

Trump has referred to as the Saudi announcement a “good first step,” however stated what occurred to Khashoggi was “unacceptable.”

The Saudi bulletins about Khashoggi got here in statements carried by the state-run Saudi Press Company early Saturday.

“Preliminary investigations conducted by the Public Prosecution showed that the suspects had traveled to Istanbul to meet with the citizen Jamal Khashoggi as there were indications of the possibility of his returning back to the country,” the assertion learn. “Discussions took place with the citizen Jamal Khashoggi during his presence in the consulate of the kingdom in Istanbul by the suspects (that) did not go as required and developed in a negative way, leading to a fistfight. The brawl led to his death and their attempt to conceal and hide what happened.”

There’s been no indication Khashoggi had any fast plans to return to the dominion.

The Saudi statements, which expressed remorse and promised accountability, didn’t determine the 18 Saudis being held by authorities and didn’t clarify how so many individuals might have been concerned in a fistfight.

The dominion on the similar time introduced the firing of 4 prime intelligence officers, together with Maj. Gen. Ahmed bin Hassan Assiri, a one-time spokesman for the Saudi army’s marketing campaign in Yemen who later turned a confidant of Prince Mohammed.

Saud Qahtani, a strong adviser to the prince, additionally was fired. Qahtani had led Saudi efforts to isolate Qatar amid a boycott of the nation by the dominion and three different Arab nations as half of a political dispute.

On Twitter, the place Qahtani had launched vitriolic assaults towards these he noticed as the dominion’s enemies, he thanked the Saudi authorities for the chance to serve.

“I will remain a loyal servant to my country for all times,” he wrote.