Trump voices concern over missing Saudi journalist

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan on Monday asked Saudi officials to prove their claim that missing journalist and Riyadh critic Jamal Khashoggi left the Saudi consulate in Istanbul.

The organization wrote that Saudi Arabia "channels funds to media organizations all over the world" including the United Kingdom - and that the funding usually takes the form of outright donations or the buying up of thousands of subscriptions, as was the case when a struggling Lebanese TV network adopted a pro-Saudi editorial policy after taking a $2 million bailout from Riyadh. Fearing for his life, Khashoggi has lived in self-imposed exile in the United States for the a year ago.

Mr Khashoggi, a Washington Post columnist who criticised the Saudi government, has not been seen since last Tuesday, when he entered the consulate to file paperwork.

"Consulate officials can not save themselves by saying that he left the building".

Saudi Arabia has insisted that Mr Khashoggi left the consulate on Tuesday and that the Saudi government had nothing to do with his disappearance.

A Turkish official told Reuters that police believe the dissident was killed in a "premeditated" murder, before his body was moved out of the consulate.

Two Turkish sources told Reuters Turkish authorities believe Khashoggi was deliberately killed inside the consulate, a view echoed by one of Erdogan's advisers, Yasin Aktay, who is also a friend of the Saudi journalist. This group is considered to have a connection with the disappearance of Khashoggi. "Jamal is not at the consulate nor in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, and the consulate and the embassy are working to search for him", said consul-general, Mohammed al-Otaibi.

Fusun Arsava, an global law professor at Ankara's Atilim University, told Al-Monitor that even if reports of Khashoggi's murder were true, that would be extremely hard for the Turkish authorities to prove.

After that the agency tweeted in correction: "The Saudi security delegation arrived Sunday at the Saudi Consulate in Istanbul, days after journalist Jamal Khashoggi disappeared". But if Khashoggi is dead, the Saudi government certainly had a motive to kill him. She told the newspaper, "I can not think such an incident is acceptable to happen in Turkey".

Saudi officials have denied the allegations as baseless.

Turkey's forensic analysis examined all the CCTV footage for the consulate entrances and exits, for the area around the consulate, and at the airport, and could find no sign of Khashoggi.

Erdogan said Turkish police and intelligence were investigating the case.

Khashoggi, 59, is a former government advisor who has criticized some of Prince Mohammed's policies and Riyadh's intervention in the war in Yemen.

Prince Mohammed said in an interview published by Bloomberg on Friday that the journalist had left the consulate and Turkish authorities could search the building, which is Saudi sovereign territory.

Aktay went on to say Turkish authorities believe a group of 15 Saudi nationals were "most certainly involved" in the journalist's disappearance.

Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman has brushed aside United States President Donald Trump's warning that the oil-rich kingdom's leadership might not last "two weeks" without American military support, saying that his country existed decades before the USA.

Saudi Arabian journalist Jamal Khashoggi speaks on his cell phone at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in 2011. These include ending all relationships with Iran and Turkey, ending support for the Muslim Brotherhood, and shutting down al-Jazeera, which has been highly critical of Saudi Arabia - things that are never going to happen.

Ms Cengiz took to Twitter to say that she "did not believe he has been killed" and that she was waiting for official confirmation.

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