Published: Wed, October 24, 2018
Global News | By Blake Casey

United Nations asks Saudi Arabia, Turkey to investigate ‘disappearance’ of Saudi journalist

United Nations asks Saudi Arabia, Turkey to investigate ‘disappearance’ of Saudi journalist

These are the latest developments in Turkey's probe into the disappearance of Khashoggi, a Washington Post writer and Saudi royal court insider-turned-critic.

A Saudi regime source at the consulate denied that Khashoggi had been killed at the mission and said in a statement that the accusations were baseless, Reuters reported.

The comments come in the wake of the disappearance of the journalist after visiting the Saudi consulate in Istanbul last week.

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo later called on the Saudi government to support a "thorough investigation" into the matter.

Mr Khashoggi's friend Turan Kislakci, the head of the Turkish-Arab Media Association, said the Washington Post contributor was made to "faint" before being dismembered.

United Nations spokesman Stephane Dujarric says the United Nations chief is following the Khashoggi case "closely", noting that an investigation is taking place in Istanbul.

Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt has met ambassador Prince Mohammed bin Nawaf Al Saud to "seek answers", a day after Downing Street said the United Kingdom was "working urgently" to establish the facts behind the disappearance.

Turkish Foreign Ministry spokesman Hami Aksoy said the investigation was "continuing intensively", and that the Vienna Convention allowed for consulates to be searched by the authorities of the host country with the consent of the mission chief. He told local radio in his home state Tuesday that he wants to end the arms shipments if there's "any indication" the Saudis are "implicated in killing this journalist that was critical of them". One of the officials describes a member of the Saudi team as an "autopsy expert" amid earlier allegations that Khashoggi had been killed and dismembered.

Khashoggi had sought to become a US citizen after living in self-imposed exile since previous year, fearing repercussions for his criticism of the prince, Cengiz wrote. "The consulate officials can not save themselves by simply saying "he has left", Erdogan said.

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A spokesperson for the US State Department said it could not confirm the reports but was "closely following the situation".

Khashoggi, a U.S. resident for about the past year, has written articles critical of Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman.

In an interview with Bloomberg last week, Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said Khashoggi had left the consulate shortly after he arrived on Tuesday. The private Turkish broadcaster, NTV, reported that police had requested access to the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul.

Both sources said it is unlikely that Turkey would make a cold, economic calculation by giving the Saudi government a pass over the case in exchange for keeping their economic ties intact.

"This case sends a shockwave among Saudi Arabian human rights defenders and dissidents everywhere, eroding any notion of seeking safe haven overseas". She told the newspaper, "I can not think such an incident is acceptable to happen in Turkey".

The GOP leader visited Saudi Arabia at the start of the year.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

Under direction from the crown prince, Saudi authorities have carried out hundreds of arrests under the banner of national security, rounding up clerics, business executives and even women's rights advocates. The Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) had already been documenting the rise of harsh treatment of journalists in Saudi Arabia.

The Washington Post newspaper, which featured articles from Khashoggi on its Global Opinions section, published blank pages on its print and website editions on Friday, demanding urgent information about the journalist whereabouts.

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