Thu, 21 Jan 2021

Jamal Khashoggi case: All the latest updates

12 Nov 2018, 04:37 GMT+10

Saudi Arabia has admitted Jamal Khashoggi was killed inside its consulate in the Turkish city of Istanbul.

Khashoggi - a Saudi writer, US resident and Washington Post columnist - entered the building on October 2 to obtain documentation certifying he had divorced his ex-wife so he could remarry.

After weeks of repeated denials that it had anything to do with his disappearance, the kingdom eventually acknowledged that the murder was premeditated. The whereabouts of his body are still unknown.

Here are the latest developments:

Trump and Macron say Saudi must give details on Khashoggi killing - report

US President Donald Trump and his French counterpart, Emmanuel Macron, agreed on Saturday that Saudi Arabia needs to shed full light on the events surrounding Khashoggi's murder, Reuters news agency reported, citing a French presidency source.

The two leaders also said the issue should not be allowed to cause further destabilisation in the Middle East and that it could create an opportunity to find a political resolution to the war in Yemen, the official said.

Trump and Macron are in Paris to commemorate the end of World War I.

Erdogan: Turkey shared Khashoggi tapes with Saudi, US and others

Turkey has given recordings on the killing of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi to Saudi Arabia, the United States, Germany, France and Britain, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said on Saturday.

Turkish sources have said previously that authorities have an audio recording purportedly documenting the murder.

Speaking before his departure for France to attend commemorations to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of World War One, Erdogan said Saudi Arabia knows the killer of Jamal Khashoggi is among a group of 15 people who arrived in Turkey one day ahead of the October 2 killing.

"We gave the tapes. We gave them to Saudi Arabia, to the United States, Germans, French and British, all of them. They have listened to all the conversations in them. They know,"Erdogan said.

Turkish police 'end search' for Jamal Khashoggi's bodyTurkish police are ending the search for the journalist's body, but the criminal investigation into the Saudi journalist's murder will continue, sources told Al Jazeera.

Al Jazeera has learned on Friday that traces of acid were found at the Saudi consul-general's residence in Istanbul, where the body was believed to be disposed of with use of chemicals.

The residence is at walking distance from the Saudi consulate, where Khashoggi was allegedly killed by a team of Saudi officers and officials.

Istanbul's chief prosecutor said on October 31 that Khashoggi was strangled as soon as he entered the consulate and that his body was dismembered, in the first official comments on the case.

Norway suspends arms export licenses to Saudi ArabiaNorway announced on Friday that it was suspending new licenses for arms exports to Saudi Arabia following recent developments in the Gulf kingdom and the situation in Yemen.

"We have decided that in the present situation, we will not give new licenses for the export of defence material or multipurpose goods for military use to Saudi Arabia," Foreign Minister Ine Eriksen Soereide said in a statement.

While Khashoggi's murder was not mentioned, the statement said the decision had been taken following "a broad assessment of recent developments in Saudi Arabia and the unclear situation in Yemen".

The announcement came a week after Norway's foreign minister summoned the Saudi ambassador to Oslo to protest Khashoggi's assassination.

Germany said last month that it would halt its arms exports to Saudi Arabia until the killing of Khashoggi was explained.

Khashoggi's fiancee shocked by reports his body was dissolvedHatice Cengiz, Khashoggi's fiancee, has expressed "shock and sadness" over reports suggesting that his body may have been dissolved with chemicals.

Cengiz said late Thursday that Khashoggi's killers had deprived his loved ones of conducting funeral prayers and burying him in the holy city of Medina as he had wished.

In a message to The Associated Press on Friday, Cengiz said she has not received any information from officials to confirm the reports.

Bin Salman: Khashoggi's killers would be punished

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told a group of American evangelical leaders earlier this month that those responsible for Khashoggi's killing would be punished.

He also stressed that the crisis must not shift focus away from Iran's threat to the region and the world, according to the delegation's organiser.

In an article posted on Axios, a news website, Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 10 news quotes Joel Rosenberg as saying bin Salman accused his "enemies" of exploiting Khashoggi's murder, which he called a "heinous act".

Axios: MBS met US evangelicals, said Khashoggi's killers would be punished

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman told a group of American evangelical leaders on November 1 that those responsible for Khashoggi's killing would be punished but stressed that the crisis must not shift focus away from Iran's threat to the region and the world, according to the delegation's organiser.

In an article posted on Axios, a news website, Barak Ravid of Israel's Channel 10 news quotes Joel

Rosenberg as saying bin Salman accused his "enemies" of exploiting Khashoggi's murder, which he called a "heinous act".

The meeting, which lasted some two hours, was scheduled before the Khashoggi crisis erupted.

Traces of acid, chemicals found in Saudi consul's home

A source in the Turkish attorney general's office told Al Jazeera that the investigative team found traces of hydrofluoric acid and other chemicals inside a well at the Saudi consul general's home in Istanbul.

The source said the killers dissolved the journalist's dismembered body in acid in one of the rooms at Consul General Mohammed al-Otaibi's residence.

Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons, reporting from Istanbul, said the residence was searched by Turkish investigators two weeks after the killing.

"It would appear, according to the source that during that two week period, acid was used to dispose of the dismembered body of Jamal Khashoggi."

Israeli spyware technology may have been used to track down, kill Khashoggi: Snowden

Software made by Israeli-based cybersecurity firm NSO Group Technologies may have been used to track down Khashoggi, fugitive US whistle-blower Edward Snowden told an Israeli audience via video conference.

Snowden said the phone of one of Khashoggi's friends, Omar Abdulaziz - who lives in exile in Canada - had been infected with NSO's Pegasus spyware. The whistle-blower, who now lives in Russia, said the software allowed Saudis to collect information about Khashoggi through Abdulaziz.

"The Saudis, of course, knew that Khashoggi was going to go to the consulate, as he got an appointment. But how did they know his intention and plans?"

"[NSO Group] is the worst of the worst in selling these burglary tools, that are being actively used to violate the human rights of dissidents, opposition figures, activists, to some pretty bad players," Snowden said, "but they are not alone."

Donald Trump: 'Much stronger opinion next week'

US President Donald Trump has said he will have a "much stronger opinion" on the killing of dissident Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi "over the next week".

Trump said he is working with the US Congress, Turkey and Saudi Arabia on solving the October 2 killing at the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

"I am forming a very strong opinion," the US president said during a press conference at the White House.

Saudi king issues pardons, unveils projects on domestic tour

Saudi Arabia's king has begun a domestic tour with a first stop in the conservative heartland of Qassim province, where he pardoned prisoners serving time on finance charges and announced 16bn riyals - about $4.27bn - in new projects.

This is King Salman's first such tour since he ascended to the throne in 2015 and comes as the kingdom faces international pressure following the killing of writer Jamal Khashoggi in the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul last month.

The state-run news agency reported on Wednesday that the government would pay debts of up to 1m riyals, or $267 000, on behalf of each of the pardoned prisoners.

CIA chief has seen all evidence in relation to Khashoggi murder - source

A Turkish security source has told Al Jazeera that CIA Director Gina Haspel has seen all the evidence related to Khashoggi's killing.

The evidence proves the operation was carried out on orders from the highest level of leadership in Saudi Arabia, the source added.

Haspel was in Turkey last week to review evidence before briefing US President Donald Trump in Washington, DC.

Turkish sources also said that Saudi Arabia would pay "blood money" or compensation to Khashoggi's family and his fiancee.

Saudis tampered with CCTV cameras after Khashoggi murder: report

Turkish media have reported that staff at Saudi Arabia's consulate in Istanbul tried to dismantle security cameras to help cover up the murder of Khashoggi.

The pro-government Sabah newspaper reported that the Saudis tried to rip out the camera inside the consulate on October 2, the day Khashoggi was murdered.

They also tried to tamper with cameras at the police security booth outside the building.

According to the report, at 01:00 on October 6, a consulate member staff went into the police security post outside the Saudi consulate to access the video system.

Sabah reported that the staff member put a digital lock code into the system, which did not dismantle any cameras but rather was intended to prevent access to any videos showing movement at the entrance, including Khashoggi's arrival at the consulate.

Al Jazeera's Andrew Simmons reporting from Istanbul said that their attempt was, in any case, irrelevant because the police had already deciphered the coding and accessed the system, retrieving a copy of the video well ahead of the attempt of tampering.

"All of this demonstrates, according to Turkish officials, in terms of the ... whole set of procedures, that there was an effort by the Saudi Arabian consulate to once again tamper with evidence," Simmons said.

"This follows a pattern of leaks which demonstrate beyond any doubt, according to the Turks, that the Saudis weren't out to investigate a murder, they were out to cover it up."

Khashoggi's sons appeal for return of his body

The sons of the slain Saudi journalist issued an appeal for the return of their father's body and said they wanted to return to Saudi Arabia to bury him.

In an interview with CNN, Salah and Abdullah Khashoggi said without their father's body, their family is unable to grieve and deal with the emotional burden of their father's death.

"It's not a normal situation, it's not a normal death at all. All what we want right now is to bury him in Al-Baqi [cemetery] in Medina [Saudi Arabia] with the rest of his family," Salah Khashoggi said.

"I talked about that with the Saudi authorities and I just hope that it happens soon."

Salah Khashoggi on October 24 met the crown prince and King Salman in Riyadh to receive condolences along with other Khashoggi family members. Salah departed for Washington a day later, and his CNN interview was his first public comment since then.

He said King Salman assured him those involved in Khashoggi's murder would be brought to justice.

"We just need to make sure that he rests in peace," Salah Khashoggi said of his father. "Until now, I still can't believe that he's dead. It's not sinking in with me emotionally," he said, adding there had been a lot of "misinformation" about the circumstances of the death.

Salah said accusations that his father was a supporter of the Muslim Brotherhood organisation were not true.

Asked how Khashoggi should be remembered, Salah replied, "As a moderate man who has common values with everyone ... a man who loved his country, who believed so much in it and its potential."

"Jamal was never a dissident. He believed in the monarchy, that it is the thing that is keeping the country together. And he believed in the transformation that it is going through."

Saudi human rights record in UN spotlight

Countries gathered at the UN in Geneva to review Saudi Arabia's rights record as it faces a torrent of international condemnation over Khashoggi's murder.

Monday's so-called Universal Periodic Review - which all 193 UN member states must undergo every four years - is likely to also focus on Saudi Arabia's role in Yemen's brutal civil war. Washington, which has long backed the Saudi-led coalition, called last week for an end to air attacks in the country.

The Saudi delegation in Geneva will be headed by Bandar Al Aiban, who serves as the head of the country's Human Rights Commission.

The delegation will present a report over the country's efforts to live up to its international human rights obligations and will respond to questions and comments from countries around the world on its record.

Activists are urging countries not to hold back.

"UN member states must end their deafening silence on Saudi Arabia and do their duty of scrutinising the cruelty in the kingdom in order to prevent further outrageous human rights violations in the country and in Yemen," Samah Hadid, Amnesty International's Middle East director of campaigns, said in a statement.

"The Saudi government's long-standing repression of critics, exemplified by the extrajudicial execution of journalist Jamal Khashoggi last month, has until recently been wilfully ignored by UN member states."

A number of countries have already submitted lists of detailed questions for the review, including direct questions from Britain, Austria and Switzerland on the Khashoggi case.

Sweden, meanwhile, is planning to ask: "What measures will be taken to improve the respect for the freedom of expression and the safety of journalists in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia?"

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