Fiancée of Khashoggi accuses US of ‘hiding the facts’ about murder

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Hatice Cengiz fiancée of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has accused the American authorities of hiding the facts over his brutal murder. (Photo by Getty Images)

The Turkish fiancée of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi has accused the American authorities of hiding the facts over his brutal murder in the Saudi consulate in Istanbul in 2018.

The dissident journalist was murdered on October 2, 2018, after he entered the Saudi consulate to obtain a document stating that he was divorced so that he could marry his fiancée, Hatice Cengiz.

Recording and other evidence gathered by Turkish authorities revealed how a team of Saudi agents subdued, killed and then dismembered the journalist inside the diplomatic mission.

Cengiz, a Turkish writer and activist, said on Saturday if the Biden administration did not reveal what it knew, it would “show that the values of the US and all decent countries are empty and worthless”.

“The US Government should release all the information it has about the murder of Jamal so that the truth can come out,” she told The Independent in a statement. She added, “There is no reason to hide the facts.”

A report by US intelligence earlier this year said that it believed that Saudi Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman (MBS) had ordered the assassination after Khashoggi’s criticism of the kingdom angered him.

The report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) “assessed” MBS approved the killing, and named a number of Saudi agents it believed had killed the journalist and then cut up his body with a saw.

Agnes Callamard, who investigated the murder in her position as UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary, or arbitrary executions, told The Independent this week she believed the US was aware of the threat.

“Everything that we are hearing is pointing to such a close nexus between the US and Saudi Arabia, including at an intelligence level,” said Callamard, who is new secretary general of Amnesty International.

“And this, coming on top of the leaks very early on… It’s only a hypothesis, I have no material evidence, but it [increases] the likelihood of the US having captured intelligence regarding threats to Jamal,” she said.

“If they have information of any kind, and any source, regarding the killing; if they have information pointing to the extent of the responsibility of MBS, or the stops in Cairo, and they are not making it public – they are making themselves complicit of impunity,” she added.

After investigating the murder over a period of six months, she said in her 2019 report that Saudi Arabia was responsible for “premeditated execution”.

Saudi Arabia initially issued conflicting stories about Khashoggi’s disappearance, but eventually said that he was killed in a “rogue” operation.

In June, a report by The New York Times revealed that four Saudi operatives involved in his killing had received paramilitary training on US soil the previous year as part of a contract approved by the State Department.

During his presidential campaign, Joe Biden called Saudi Arabia “a pariah,” pledging to take a much tougher line with the kingdom than Donald Trump had.

However, apart from sanctions on some lower-ranking Saudi officials, no other punitive measures have been taken against the kingdom.

Callamard said she was disappointed by how quickly the US normalized its relationship with Saudi Arabia.


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