Saudi government preparing to say Khashoggi was killed during interrogation gone wrong

16 Octobre, 2018, 06:05 | Auteur: Auguste Feret
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Saudi media on Monday echoed the kingdom's hard-line threat of retaliation for any sanctions over the disappearance and alleged death of Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, as demands grew for boycotts of the same global brands once courted by the kingdom.

Khashoggi's alleged murder at the hands of Saudi operatives - something the kingdom has vehemently denied - is just the latest in a series of events raising the temperature of the kingdom's diplomatic relationship with many Western nations.

Saudi Arabia is threatening to give 5-year prison terms and heavy fines to anyone caught spreading "fake news" online, a warning to those discussing the suspected murder of Washington Post journalist Jamal Khashoggi. They provided no further details. Maybe I don't want to get into his mind, but it sounded to me like maybe these could have been rogue killers - who knows?

Khashoggi vanished after entering a Saudi consulate in Istanbul on October 2, igniting a global firestorm over the circumstances of his disappearance. Germany, Britain and France issued a joint statement over the weekend expressing "grave concern" and calling for a credible investigation to ensure those responsible for the disappearance "are held to account".

Saudi Arabia has warned that it would retaliate against any punishment with even greater measures.

Mr Khashoggi has not been seen since he entered the Saudi consulate in Istanbul over a week ago after apparently giving his fiancee his iPhone, which the watch was synced with.

The warning from the world's top oil exporter came after a turbulent day on the Saudi stock exchange, which plunged as much as 7 percent at one point.

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"It has been 13 days since the event, so surely proving some of the evidence might be hard, but we believe we will obtain evidence", a Turkish official told Reuters.

"The king has ordered the public prosecutor to open an internal investigation into the Khashoggi matter based on the information from the joint team in Istanbul", an official quoted by Reuters news agency said.

"He said that they are working closely with Turkey to find answer".

It said one of the sources told them that the intention was to abduct Khashoggi and it had not been authorized by the Saudi government.

The Saudi government has described the allegations as "baseless", but have offered no evidence that Mr Khashoggi left the consulate.

"You couldn't make his up", added Al Jazeera journalist Jamal Elshayyal, who posted photos of the cleaning crew's pronounced arrival on Twitter.

In the days following his disappearance, lawmakers from both sides of the aisle have demanded answers from the Saudis, an immediate halt of USA arms sales to the repressive monarchy, and total withdrawal of American support for the kingdom's vicious assault on Yemen.

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