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October 15, 2018
Jamal Khashoggi: Trump condemns Saudi writer's disappearance
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Jamal Khashoggi: Trump condemns Saudi writer’s disappearance

Purported Saudi intelligence officers said by Turkish media to be linked to the disappearance of Saudi journalist, Jamal Khashoggi, 10 October 2018Image copyright

Image caption

This image allegedly shows Saudi intelligence officers entering and leaving Turkey via Istanbul airport

US President Donald Trump has condemned the disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Mr Trump told reporters the situation was “serious” and that he wanted to invite Mr Khashoggi’s fiancée, Hatice Cengiz, to the White House.

Mr Khashoggi, a US resident and critic of the Saudi monarchy, entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul on 2 October and has not been seen since.

Turkish authorities say Mr Khashoggi was killed. Saudi Arabia denies this.

Mr Trump said he wanted to “get to the bottom” of the case, adding: “We cannot let this happen to reporters, to anybody.”

The White House said US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and senior officials had spoken with Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman on Tuesday and asked for more details about the situation.

Earlier, Turkish media outlets published CCTV footage which they say shows evidence of a plot linked to Mr Khashoggi’s disappearance.

It shows purported Saudi intelligence officers entering and leaving Turkey via Istanbul airport.

What else does the video show?

Broadcast by Turkey’s TRT World channel and apparently garnered from security cameras, the footage shows vehicles driving up to the consulate, including black vans thought to be central to inquiries.

Groups of Saudi men are seen entering Turkey via Istanbul airport, checking in at hotels and later leaving the country.

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Media captionCCTV footage shows missing Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi entering the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

Turkish investigators are looking into two Saudi Gulfstream jets that landed at the airport on 2 October. The video shows aircraft waiting on the tarmac.

Mr Khashoggi was visiting the consulate to finalise his divorce so he could marry Ms Cengiz.

He is seen on the video entering the consulate. His fiancée waits outside.

Image caption

Diplomatic vehicles were seen entering the consulate and driving to the Saudi consul’s residence shortly after Mr Khashoggi’s arrival

Turkey’s Sabah newspaper reports that it has identified 15 members of an intelligence team it says was involved in the Saudi’s disappearance. Among them was a forensics expert, it says.

Turkey says it will conduct a search of the Istanbul consulate, while Saudi Arabia’s foreign ministry said the country was “open to co-operation” and a search of the building could go ahead.

Who is Jamal Khashoggi?

A critic of the crown prince, Mr Khashoggi was living in self-imposed exile in the US and writing opinion pieces for the Washington Post before his disappearance.

A former editor of the al-Watan newspaper, he was for years seen as close to the Saudi royal family. He served as an adviser to senior Saudi officials.

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Media captionJamal Khashoggi: Saudi Arabia needs reform, but one-man rule is “bad” for the kingdom

But after several of his friends were arrested, his column was cancelled by the al-Hayat newspaper and he was allegedly warned to stop tweeting, Mr Khashoggi left Saudi Arabia for the US.

Last week, the crown prince told Bloomberg News that his government was “very keen to know what happened to him”, and that Mr Khashoggi had left “after a few minutes or one hour”.

Source BBC News

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