Journalist Jamal Khashoggi most likely dead: Trump

Khashoggi disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2, and Turkish officials have accused the Saudis of brutally killing Khashoggi there.

Khashoggi disappeared , October 2, under mysterious circumstances in Saudi Consulate in Istanbul

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman behind journalist’s disappearance?

WASHINGTON(TIP): President Donald Trump on Thursday, October 18, told reporters that it “certainly looks” as if the Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi is dead, based on ‘intelligence coming from every side’.

“Unless the miracle of all miracles happens, I would acknowledge that he’s dead,” Trump said to The Times. “That’s based on everything — intelligence coming from every side.”

The president also said consequences would have to be “very severe” if it turns out Saudi Arabia is responsible for Khashoggi’s death.

Additionally, Trump said he would not make a statement on the case until several investigations into Khashoggi’s disappearance have concluded.

“I think we’ll be making a statement, a very strong statement,” Trump said. “But we’re waiting for the results of about — there are three different investigations, and we should be able to get to the bottom fairly soon.”

Khashoggi, who most recently wrote for The Washington Post, was often critical of the Saudi government in his reporting. He disappeared after entering the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul on October 2, and Turkish officials have accused the Saudis of brutally killing Khashoggi there.

The Saudis have so far denied any involvement in Khashoggi’s disappearance. But more than two weeks later, the Saudi government has still not provided any evidence that the journalist safely departed the consulate.

Trump has largely stood by the Saudis over the past week as they’ve issued a series of denials.

The president at one point suggested that “rogue killers” could be responsible but provided no evidence to back up that assertion.

Trump also said on Tuesday that the criticism against the Saudi Kingdom amid the Khashoggi investigation was another instance of “guilty until proven innocent.”

Meanwhile, Trump has touted the strategic alliance between the US and Saudi Arabia, boasting about billions of dollars in planned arms sales to the Saudis. He said last week that it would be a “tough pill to swallow” to cease the sales over Khashoggi, contending that such a move would hurt the US economy.

Two weeks after he disappeared, The Washington Post has published what it said appears to be Jamal Khashoggi’s final column, in which the missing Saudi journalist writes of the importance of a free press in the Arab world.

Such a forum is currently lacking, says Khashoggi, a Post contributor and US resident who disappeared entering Saudi Arabia’s consulate in Istanbul on October 2.

“The Arab world is facing its own version of an Iron Curtain, imposed not by external actors but through domestic forces vying for power,” he writes.

“The Arab world needs a modern version of the old transnational media so citizens can be informed about global events. More important, we need to provide a platform for Arab voices,” Khashoggi writes.

“Through the creation of an independent international forum, isolated from the influence of nationalist governments spreading hate through propaganda, ordinary people in the Arab world would be able to address the structural problems their societies face.”

The ultimate fate of Khashoggi — whose writings have been critical of powerful Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – is still unknown, but leaks by anonymous Turkish officials have painted a picture of him allegedly meeting a grisly demise in the consulate at the hands of Saudi agents. In the introduction to Khashoggi’s column — the Post’s Global Opinions editor Karen Attiah said the newspaper held off on publishing it in the hopes that he would return. — AFP

A man who previously travelled with Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman’s entourage to the US entered the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul just before  Jamal Khashoggi vanished there

Images published on Thursday by a pro-govt Turkish newspaper shows the man also later outside the Saudi consul general’s home, checking out of a Turkish hotel with a large suitcase

Britain, France, the US and the Netherlands have decided not to attend an investment summit in Riyadh as international pressure on Saudi Arabia over the disappearance of journalist Jamal Khashoggi grows

Terming the issue “very serious”, these countries said “the full truth of this affair be known and those responsible for the journalist’s disappearance must be held to account”

A Turkish daily reported on Thursday, October 18, that one of the suspects involved in the case was killed in a “suspicious car accident” in Riyadh even as investigators in Ankara expanded their probe to two wooded areas outside Istanbul

Mashal Saad al-Bostani, 31, a lieutenant of the Saudi Royal Air Force, was among the 15 suspects who left Turkey on October 2 after going to Saudi Arabia’s Istanbul consulate.

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