Eight people remain detained in Saudi corruption crackdown, crown prince says

Oct 08, 2018, 02:01
Eight people remain detained in Saudi corruption crackdown, crown prince says

Saudi Arabia will allow Turkey to search its consulate in Istanbul for prominent Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, who has been missing for three days after entering the diplomatic mission earlier this week. Asked if Khashoggi faces charges in Saudi Arabia, Prince Mohammed said it was first important to discover where he was.

Saudi and Turkish officials have made conflicting statements on the whereabouts of Khashoggi, who has been living in self-imposed exile in the United States since he fled the kingdom in September 2017. We believe a positive outcome will emerge.

Demonstrators hold pictures of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi during a protest in front of Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul.

"The consulate confirmed that it is carrying out follow-up procedures and coordination with the Turkish local authorities to uncover the circumstances of the disappearance of Jamal Khashoggi after he left the consulate building", the statement said, without elaborating.

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"We are closely following reports of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi's disappearance and continue to seek information", a State Department official said.

Yemeni activist and 2011 victor of the Nobel Peace Prize, Tawakkol Karman said she believed Khashoggi "was kidnapped in this gangster's den that is supposed to be a consulate". She added that "the burden of proof is on Saudi Arabia" to prove that the journalist left the consulate in peace. In the spring, Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman described Turkey as one part of a "triangle of evil" with Iran and Islamic extremists.

Khashoggi was last seen entering the Saudi Arabian consulate in Istanbul to obtain documents for his upcoming wedding, his fiancée told the Post.

More interesting than the arrest itself is the Saudi reaction, which appears to be shifting blame for Khashoggi's disappearance to Turkish authorities, rather than defending the detention of a dissident.

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He is well-known for his work interviewing Osama bin Laden, for his stint as deputy editor-in-chief of Arab News between 1999 and 2003, and his role as former general manager and editor-in-chief of Al Arab News Channel.

Khashoggi regularly called out Saudi policies towards Qatar and Canada, the war in Yemen, and a crackdown on dissent and the media in the kingdom.

Khashoggi previously had close links with the Saudi royal family, including having served as a media aide to Prince Turki al-Faisal, when the latter was director general of the Saudi intelligence agency.

Saudi Arabia's crown prince has said Aramco's initial public offering will take place by 2021, and reiterated his view that the state-owned oil company will be valued at $2trillion (£1.53trillion) or more.

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